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Full text of "The Twenty-Eighth Yearbook Of The National Society For The Society Of Education Preschool And Parental Education Part I Organization And Development Part II Research And Method"

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Prepared "by the Society's Committee 

B. T. Baldwin (deceased), Arnold Gescll, Patty S. Hill, Douglas A. Thorn, 
Edna N. White, Helen T. Woolley, and Lois H. Meek (Chairman) 

Assisted by 

W. E. Blatz, Agnes Burke, Grace Caldwell, Lolah M. Crabbs, Boss V. Cun- 
ningham, Mary D. Davis, Charlotte G. Garrison, Ernest Groves, Sidome M. 
Gruenberg, Ruth Haefnor, Frances A. Hungerf ord, Harriet Johnson, 
H, E. Jones, Grace Langdon, Elizabeth Lord, Lawson Lowrey, 
Elizabeth Moore, Mary Murphy, Winifred Rand, E. Mae Ray- 
mond, Mandel Sherman, G. S. Stevenson, Mary Sweeny, 
Nell B Taylor, Flora Thurston, E. Loona Vincent, 
Beth Wellman, C. A* Wilson, and 
Elizabeth Woods 

Edited T>y 





for 1929 

Board of Directors 
(Term of office expires March. 1st of the year indicated) 

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City 

B. E. BUCKINGHAM (1929) 
Newton Center, Massachusetts 

W. W. -CHARTERS (1932)* 
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 

State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

LEONARD V. Koos, Chairman (1930) 
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City 

LEWIS M. TERMAN (1932)* 
Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 

Danvers, Massachusetts 



Danvers, Massachusetts 

*Term of office begins March 1, 1929. 




BIRD T. BALDWIN (deceased), late Director of the Iowa Child Wel- 
fare Research Station and Research Professor in Educational 
Psychology, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. 

ARNOLD GESELL, Professor of Child Hygiene and Director of the 
Yale Psycho-Clinic, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 

PATTY SMITH HILL, Professor of Education and Director of the 
Department of Kindergarten-First Grade Education, Teachers 
College, Columbia University, New York City, New York 

Lois HAYDEN MEEK (Chairman), Educational Secretary, American 
Association of University Women, Washington, D. C. 

DOUGLAS A. THOM, Director of the Division of Mental Hygiene, 
Massachusetts Department of Mental Diseases, Boston, Massa- 

EDNA NOBLE WHITE, Director of the Merrill-Palmer School of 
Homemaking, Detroit, Michigan 

HELEN- THOMPSON WOOLLEY, Director of the Institute of Child 
Welfare Research and Professor of Education, Teachers Col- 
lege, Columbia University, New York City, New York 


Miss AGNES BURKE, Instructor in Kindergarten-First Q-rade Edu- 
cation, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City 
Miss GRACE CALDWELL, Director of the Nursery School of the North 

Bennet Street Industrial School, Boston, Massachusetts 
DR. BESS V. CUNNINGHAM, Associate Professor of Education, 

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City 
DR. MARY DABNEY DAVIS, Specialist in Nursery-Kindergarten- 
Primary Education, Bureau of Education, U. S. Department 

of the Interior, Washington, D. C. 
Miss CHARLOTTE GANO GARRISON, Instructor in Kindergarten-First 

Grade Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New 

York City 
DR. ERNEST GROVES, Research Professor of Sociology, Institute for 

Research in Social Science, University of North -Carolina, 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 
Miss RUTH HAEFNER, Field Organization, Child Study and Parent 

Education, Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, Iowa City, 

Miss HARRIET JOHNSON, Director of the Nursery School, Bureau of 

Educational Experiments, New York City 
Miss GRACE LANGDON, Instructor in Kindergarten-First Grade 

Education, Teachers College, 'Columbia University, New York 

MJSS MARY MURPHY, Director, Elizabeth McCormick Memorial 

Fund, Chicago, Illinois 
Miss E. MAE RAYMOND, Instructor in Kindergarten-First Grade 

Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York 

DR. GEORGE S. STEVENSON, Director, Division on Community 

Clinics, The National Committee for Mental Hygiene, New 

York City 

Miss NEL& BOYD TAYLOR, Assistant Educational Secretary, Ameri- 
can Association of University Women, Washington, D. C. 
Miss FL.ORA THURSTON, Executive Secretary, National Council of 

Parental Education, New York City 

DR. E. LEONA VINCENT, Psychologist, Merrill-Palmer School, De- 
troit, Michigan 
DB. BETH WEINMAN, Research Associate Professor, Iowa Child 

Welfare Research Station, State University of Iowa, Iowa 

City, Iowa. 


DR. WTTJ.TAM E. BLATZ, Director, St. George's School for Child 
Study, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 

DR. LEI^AH MAE CRABBS, Psychologist, Merrill-Palmer School, De- 
troit, Michigan 

MRS. SIDONIE M. GRUENBERG, Director, Child Study Association of 
America, New York City 

Miss FRANCES ANNE HUNGERFORD, Instructor, Preschool Home 
Laboratory, Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, State Uni- 
versity of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 

DR. HAROID ELIJS JONES, Director of Research, Institute of Child 
Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, California 

DR. ELIZABETH LORD, Graduate School, Yale University, New 
Haven, Connecticut 

DR. LAWSON LOWRET, Director, Institute for Child Guidance, New 
York City 

Miss ELIZABETH MOORE, Research Associate, Iowa Child Welfare 
Research Station, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 

Miss WINIFRED RAND, Instructor in Parental Education, Merrill- 
Palmer School, Detroit, Michigan 

DR. MANDEL SHERMAN, Director, Washington Child Research Cen- 
ter, Washington, D. C. 

Mrss MART SWEENY, Nutritionist, Merrill-Palmer School, Detroit, 

DR. BETH WELLMAN, Research Associate Professor, Iowa Child 
Welfare Research Station, State University of Iowa, Iowa 
City, Iowa 

DR. CHART/PIS A. WILSON, Physician, Merrill-Palmer School, De- 
troit, Michigan 

DR. ELIZABETH WOODS, Director, Department of Psychology and 
Education Research, Los Angeles City Schools, Los Angeles, 


Editor's Preface IX 



I. Introduction 1 

H. History of the Movement in Preschool and Parental Education. . . 7 
IH. General Considerations Underlying Preschool and Parental Education 45 


IV. The Family as an Educational Agency 71 

V. Day Nurseries 87 

VI. Preschool and Parental Education Piomoted by Maternity and 

Infant Welfare Centers 107 

VII. The Clinic as an Agency for the Education of Parents and Children 121 

VIII. Nursery Schools 137 

IX. The Kindergarten in Relation to Preschool and Parental Education 247 


X. Survey of Programs in Parental Education 275 

XI. Experiments in Preparental training 355 


XII. Professional Training for Besearch and Instruction in Preschool 

Education 405 

XIII. The Professional Training of Nursery-School Teachers 413 

XIV. Training for the Field of Parental Education 433 


I. Present Status of Research in Child Development 453 

II. Studies of Motor Development 465 

III. Studies in Language Development 495 

IV. Studies of Intellectual Development. 569 

V* Studies of Emotional and Social Development 597 

VI. Studies of Physical Growth * ... 617 




VIL Child Activities Leading to the Establishment of Routine Habits. . 667 

VIH. Child Activities: Play 693 

IX. Child Activities Leading to Art Experiences 705 

X. Child Activities in Language and Literatuie 727 

XI. Child Activities Leading to Social Development 737 

XII. Provision for Individual Differences 749 

XIII. Eecords of Young Children: A Means to Education 765 


XIV. Methods and Materials for the Education of Parents 789 

XV. Practical Ways of Educating Parents and Teachers to the Value 

of Mental Hygiene 807 

Constitution of the National Society for the Study of Education 833 

Minutes of the Boston Meeting of the Society. 836 

Synopsis of the Pioceedings of the Board of Directors during 1928 839 

Plans for the Subvention of Research 844 

Reports of Yearbooks in Preparation 845 

Audit of the Treasurer of the Society for 1927 847 

List of Honorary and Active Members of the Society 849 

Information Concerning the Society 870 

List of the Publications of the Society 873 



The chances are that practically every reader of this yearbook 
received such training as he did receive during the first five or 
six years of his life at the hands of adults who were convinced that 
the chief problem during that period was to maintain in the said 
reader a reasonable condition of health, including the avoidance, 
so far as feasible, of the stock diseases of infancy and early child- 
hood. The chances are that, save for the few who attended kinder- 
gartens, our readers received but scant educational training, and 
that of a more or less sketchy and incidental, not to say accidental, 
character during that period. The chances are, furthermore, that 
the parents of practically every reader of this yearbook dispensed 
whatever training they did dispense in accordance with certain 
stock, rule-of-thumb precepts that they had acquired from their 
parents, modified somewhat perhaps, here and there, by contact 
with the differing notions of other parents and to a lesser degree 
by ideas picked up from the chance reading of books on the feeding 
of infants and like topics. 

Now, however, there has arisen a new and different conception 
of the educational significance of the first half-dozen years of life. 
Infancy and early childhood are held to be of fundamental and 
far-reaching importance for the entire development of the indi- 
vidual of importance, that is to say, not only with respect to his 
physique, his physical well-being, but even more with respect to his 
mental well-being, his temperamental and emotional outlook upon 
life. Adults, and particularly parents, are held responsible, there- 
fore, to an extent and in ways not before deemed possible, for the 
future success of the child, and these success-conditioning factors 
are held to be peculiarly operative during the preschool years. 

This new conception of the significance of the preschool period 
has led to the development of several new educational activities, 
more especially to the development of nursery schools and of new 
organizations and methods for the better training of parents. "What 
the ultimate meaning of these developments may be for our gen- 
eral program of public education can hardly be discerned clearly 
at present ; the whole movement is too recent to predict its outcome 
with assurance. 

Whatever may be this ultimate meaning for the public-school 
program, members of the National Society for the Study of Educa- 
tion must acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the Society's Com- 
mittee on Preschool and Parental Education for having assembled 
in this Twenty-Eighth Yearbook so comprehensive and painstaking 
a survey of the present status of the movement herein described. 
It is safe to say that nowhere else in the literature can so useful a 
presentation be found. 

The seven members of the Committee and the twenty-nine asso- 
ciated contributors were confronted by a very real task in their 
efforts to gather, analyze, and reduce to systematic form the well- 
nigh innumerable bits of information that they were able to dis- 
cover bearing on the general theme. After the Committee had done 
this work, it was discovered that the presentation it felt to be com- 
mensurate with the adequate description of the movement ex- 
ceeded even the additional space placed at its disposal by the Board 
of Directors of the Society. The editor wishes, accordingly, to 
absolve the Committee from any criticisms that may arise in the 
reader's mind of lack of proportion or adequacy in the Committee's 
report. He trusts, however, that the numerous deletions of ma- 
terial which lack of space compelled him to make at the last moment 
will not detract seriously from the value of the yearbook. 




a. Purpose of the Yearbook. The Committee has aimed to 
present a yearbook which will bring to educators and others in- 
terested a survey of the fields of preschool and parental education. 
During the past ten years there has been such a phenomenal growth 
in the interest in the welfare of young children that it seemed 
pertinent to attempt at this time to bring together the information 
available in the field and to present the movement to those engaged 
in education. It is impossible to separate those activities which 
relate to the education of young children and those which relate to 
the education of parents. The two are so interrelated and so cor- 
related that it is essential to discuss them together. 

The Committee realizes that there are dangers in attempting to 
publish anything concerning a field which is so new and therefore 
subject to sudden and perhaps volcanic changes. 6ut the very 
speed of the present development has convinced thfc Committee 
that some source is needed to describe, interpret, and perhaps guide. 
The Committee hopes that the present yearbook will help to show 
the trends of the movement, to point out the need for carefully 
trained personnel, to emphasize the varied influences of home, 
school, and community on child life, and to focus attention on the 
total aspect of child development physical, emotional, and social, as 
well as intellectual. 

b. Activities of the Committee. A request for a yearbook on 
preschool and parental education was made to the National Society 
for the Study of Education in February, 1925. The Directors 
expressed interest and during the next eight months the Committee 
was organized and formally appointed in October, 1925. 

Dr. Lois Hayden Meek was appointed chairman. The other 
members of the main committee were selected to represent various 
aspects of preschool and parental education: Dr. Bird Baldwin 
and Dr. Arnold Gesell, research in child development; Professor 
Patty Hill, education of young children ; Miss Edna "White, home 
economics aspect of preschool and parental education; Dr. Helen 
Thompson Woolley, psychological aspects of personality problems 



of childhood; Dr. Douglas Thorn, the psychiatric aspect of child 

The work of the Committee was made possible by a generous 
grant from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, supplemented 
by an appropriation from the National Society for the Study of 

There have been five meetings of the main committee. In Wash- 
ington, D. 0., May 4, 1927, there were present Dr. Gesell, Dr. 
Baldwin, Dr. Thorn, Professor Hill, and the Chairman. The Com- 
mittee met for three consecutive days in Atlantic -City from De- 
cember 1-4, 1927, with Dr. Thorn, Dr. Gesell, Professor Hill, Miss 
White, Dr. Lelah Crabbs as substitute for Dr. Baldwin, and the 
Chairman present. In Boston there was an all-day meeting on Feb- 
ruary 26, 1928, attended by Dr. Gesell, Dr. Baldwin, Miss Sweeny 
as substitute for Miss White, Dr. Thorn, Professor Hill, and the 
Chairman. Dr. Lelah Crabbs and Miss Elizabeth Moore were pres- 
ent for the entire meeting and Miss Mae Raymond and Miss Grace 
Langdon came in for part of the discussion. Another three-day 
meeting in Atlantic City, May 12-14, 1928, was attended by Pro- 
fessor Hill, Dr. Gesell, Dr. Thorn, Miss White, the Chairman, and 
Dr. Whipple, Secretary of the National Society for the Study of 
Education. At the final meeting in New York City, September 29- 
30, 1928, there were present Dr. Gesell, Professor Hill, Dr. Thorn, 
Miss White, and the Chairman. 

Besides these five meetings of the main committee there have 
been about twenty-seven meetings of sub-committees working on 
special sections or chapters of the Yearbook, and the Chairman has 
had numerous conferences with individuals. 

c. Plan of Work. At the outset the Committee adopted the 
plan of a unified yearbook which would be the product of the 
Committee as a whole rather than the work of isolated contributors. 
Each chapter of the Yearbook therefore represents the work of the 
whole committee. This means not merely that each member of 
the Committee was willing to approve each chapter but that they 
worked and thought together oix practically every part of this book. 
The outlines for all chapters were discussed and criticized and the 
manuscripts of many chapters were read and discussed, paragraph 
by paragraph, in committee meetings. In short this basis of work- 


ing means that the Committee has indeed endeavored to present the 
material concerning the education of children and parents from a 
point of view which would integrate a movement which is a part of 
the activity of so many groups with varying objectives and back- 

d. Organization of the Yearbook. It was intended to devote 
only one part of the Yearbook to the subjects of preschool and 
parental education. However, as the work developed, there seemed 
to be need for more space in order adequately to present the scope 
of the movement. It was still deemed unwise to separate preschool 
and parental education; accordingly, the volume was divided on 
the basis of administration and methods. 

Part I therefore contains chapters dealing with general history 
and basic considerations, followed by surveys of the agencies and 
their activities concerned with educating preschool children and 

Part II discusses methods of educating young children and 
parents, and includes reports of research in child development. 

The Yearbook is not limited to purely scientific studies, but 
tries to emphasize best tendencies. Section I of Part II is the only 
section organized from a technical point of view and is included 
in order to indicate the scope of the problems which scientific in- 
vestigators have already undertaken, and also to bring out the need 
for further research in this field. 

e. Terminology. It is desirable to define a few of the major 
terms in the main title and chapter headings of this Yearbook. The 
term preschool is of recent currency. Even ten years ago it had 
a strange and artificial sound, particularly when attached as an 
adjective to the word child. The term preschool was first com- 
monly used by child hygienists and public health workers. When, 
after the war, the preschool period of childhood was characterized 
as the " No-Man's Land" in the field of social endeavor, reference 
was intended to the gap in child health provisions between the 
Infant welfare station and the public school. Many persons still 
use the term preschool specifically to apply to this age period from 
two years to six years. Historically, this is a justifiable restriction 
of the term. 


The continuity of childhood has, however, resulted in a more 
flexible inclusive use of the word to comprise the whole period of 
infancy and early childhood, from birth up to elementary-school 
entrance at the age of six or seven. In the present yearbook, the 
broader application of the term will be favored, because this in- 
creasing usage is entirely logical and is indeed the outgrowth of the 
essential unity of the problems of early education and hygiene. 

Contextual inflections and specific terms like infant, toddler, 
runabout, and preJcindergarten child will readily take care of more 
restrictive applications. The age of the infant ranges from birth 
to approximately two years. The neo-natal period of infancy is 
the critically important first month after birth. The toddler and 
runabout range from about one and a half years to five years of 
age. The prekindergarten child usually suggests the ages from 
two years to four or five years. Such terms as subprimary and 
preprimary are self-descriptive. In this connection it is interesting 
to note a tendency to make the preformal, preacademie period of 
education extend beyond the fifth year into the seventh year. The 
double hyphenation nursery -kindergarten-primary education is a 
symptom of this assimilation. Educators will be interested to note 
that Pestalozzi consistently recognized the educational importance 
of the preschool period. His last speech, made when he was over 
eighty years old, bore the title, "The Simplest Methods Whereby 
to Educate a Child at Home from the Cradle to the Sixth Year." 

The term parental education will be used in its broadest sense 
to include all methods and devices of adult education intended to 
assist parents in the understanding and care of their children. 
Preparental education is directed to the adolescent, usually prior 
to marriage, while still within the scope of secondary, collegiate, 
and continuation schooling. Parental guidance is a concrete form 
of instructional, advisory, suggestive assistance directed toward in- 
dividual problems of child care and family life. This assistance 
is more or less systematically rendered through a consulting center, 
school or clinic. A guidance nursery is a type of nursery adapted 
for the individual training and adjustment of children and guid- 
ance of their parents. It differs in this individualizing approach 
and organization from a nursery school of the congregate, or group, 
type. The distinction between a nursery school and a day nursery 
will be detailed in the text and need not be anticipated here. 


The term home will be frequently used in the text. If any 
definition of this protean term were attempted, emphasis would 
have to be placed on the functional aspects of family life and on 
the parent-child relationship The modern home is inevitably 
undergoing change. In this process of change the conscious edu- 
cational activities and responsibilities of family organization need 
clearer formulation. The problem will be considered in terms of 
child care rather than physical boundaries. There is no funda- 
mental antithesis between the home and preschool agencies of edu- 
cation, whether public or private, if these agencies conduct their 
work in such a way as actually to strengthen and enrich the rela- 
tions between parents and their children. The parent-child rela- 
tionship is a psychological complex, which is affected not only by 
the rearing of the child in the home, but also by all of the factors, 
domestic and extra-domestic, which enter into preschool and 
parental education. 

/. Acknowledgments. The Committee has had the help of vari- 
ous sub-committees in the preparation of this Yearbook and is 
greatly indebted to them for their painstaking work and splendid 
cooperation. Twenty-nine of these contributors have been desig- 
nated as associate members and are listed in the introductory pages. 
Many others have given valuable criticisms, suggestions, or material, 
and acknowledgment is made of such contributions through the 

An undertaking such as this necessarily needs the help of many 
and to all of those who have contributed in any way we are deeply 
grateful. Especially are we indebted to Annabelle Day for able 
assistance during committee meetings and in the preparation of the 

The Committee wishes to take this opportunity to express its 
appreciation of the work of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Me- 
morial in encouraging, fostering, and assisting various projects for 
the improvement; of the welfare of young children. This founda- 
tion, which was organized in 1918 for the advancement of the social 
sciences, prefers to facilitate positive and preventive programs. 
Consequently, it has provided means for more intensive research in 
child development by the establishment of several new child-study 
laboratories and the furtherance of those already organised, and 


has launched several extensive programs for the dissemination of 
information through parent education. It also has made provision 
for committee meetings and conferences that have served as a 
clearing house of ideas and experiences in this field, as well as for 
a better understanding and relationship between the scientists from 
all branches of knowledge that affect children. 

The Committee has been deeply distressed and greatly handi- 
capped by the death of Dr. Bird Baldwin in May, 1928. As a 
member of the Committee, Dr Baldwin had given much time and 
thought to the Yearbook and had incorporated the interest of a 
large group of his staff at the Child Welfare Eesearch Station, 
University of Iowa. We are especially indebted to Miss Elizabeth 
Moore, Miss Frances Hungerford, Dr. Beth Wellman of the staff, 
and to Dr. George Stoddard, acting director of the Station, for 
loyal support and untiring efforts to complete the sections begun 
by Dr. Baldwin. The Committee is happy that this Yearbook 
presents much of the thinking and philosophy of Dr. Baldwin, who 
was one of the pioneers and leaders in the new movement for the 
better understanding of children. 


Lois HAYDEN MEEK, Chairman. 




A most significant trend in the forward movement of organized 
education is toward a closer coordination of the facilities of the 
home and of the school. If one were to inquire of any student of 
social progress, "What is the newest development in the educational 
world?" the answer would almost surely be, "Schools for infants 
and a constructive program of education for parents." 

Interest in the young child and his parents has spread so rapidly 
within the past ten years as to appear to be a new development, but 
the movement is not altogether modern. A search through the 
annals of ancient history reveals the occasional philosopher, 
preacher, and educational reformer contemplating the significance 
of parent-child relationships and planning for the improved edu- 
cation of infants and young children. 

a, Foreshadowings. About four hundred years before the 
Christian Era, Plato stressed the importance of early childhood 
and the necessity for family cooperation: "Education and admoni- 
tion commence in the first year of childhood and last to the very 
end of life. Mother and nurse and father and tutor are vying with 
one another about the improvement of the child as soon as ever he 
is able to understand what is being said to him." 1 

Plato 's conception of education also foreshadowed the relatively 
recent recognition of the importance of mental health as an edu- 
cational objective: "I call education the virtue which is shown by 
children when the feelings of joy or sorrow, of love or of hate, which 
arise in their souls, are made comfortable to order." 2 

b. Puritanical Teachings. For many hundreds of years, fol- 
lowing the spread of the Christian religion, teacher and moralist 

* Forest, Use, Prcsohool Education, quoted from Plato 's Protagoras. Selec- 
tions from Jowett's Translation, pp. 20 fl., Clarendon Preas, Oxford, 1885. 

* Taylor, Hell Boyd, The Education of the Pregrvmary Child, an Tuap-ub- 
lished thesis, p. 6. Quoted from Brockott, I*. P v History ttnd Proffres* of 



appear to have been concerned primarily with admonishing parents 
to attend to the religious training of their children. James Jane- 
way, a Puritan minister who lived in the late eighteenth century, 
addresses parents as follows: "Your child is never too little to go 
to hell." And again: "Put your children upon learning their 
catechism and Scriptures and getting to pray and weep by them- 
selves." 3 

c. Reaction against Puritanical Doctrines. Fortunately for par- 
ents and their children, thoughtful leaders of the late eighteenth 
and early nineteenth centuries reacted against stern, Puritanical 
doctrines and educational methods such as those advocated by 
Janeway. Pestalozzi, for example, in his Letters on Early Educa- 
tion, expressing a firm belief in the ability of mothers to educate 
their children, makes some suggestions as to parental procedures: 
"The mother is qualified, and qualified by her Creator himself, to 

become the principal agent in the development of her child 

"What power can be more influential, more stimulating than ma- 
ternal love? .... "What I would demand of her is only a thinking 

love Fear can never act as a moral restraint The 

consequences of severity are no doubt as mischievous as those of in- 
dulgence. Against the excess of both, I can only repeat the recom- 
mendation of affection and firmness. M4 

d. Emphasis on Parents. Abate Aporti, a Catholic priest, in- 
terested in the establishment of elementary schools in Italy during 
the early nineteenth century, contributed to the development of 
preschool and, more particularly, of parental education a fur- 
ther constructive point of view: "We wish and expect children to 
be a very different race from their parents, but this must depend 
in a great measure upon the conduct of the parents themselves. 
.... While we educate children we ought not to lose sight of the 

parents If those who were about children of tender years 

were virtuous, the great majority of children would grow virtuous 

likewise Parents ought to abstain in the presence of their 

children from speaking ill of other people, as this is apt to engender 
contempt and anti-social feelings Squabbles between father 

Parker, B. C., A Textbook in the History of Modern Elementary Educa- 
tion. Boston: Gian, 1912. P. 162. 

4 Forest, Use, Presohool Education, quoted from Pestalozzi, John Heinrich, 
Letters on Early Eduoation f pp. 9 ff. 


and mother, recriminations, hard words, tend to destroy filial 
respect. ' ' 5 

Forecast thus by Plato, and developing very slowly during suc- 
ceeding centuries, the preschool and parental education movement 
seems to have been somewhat more definitely launched about one 
hundred years ago. Then, as now, the attitude of the individual 
leader of parents seems to have determined his method of approach 
to parental problems: while one warned and threatened, another 
recommended and suggested, and a third outlined a few definite 
parental procedures. As the movement has progressed during the 
past century, the most evident growth appears to have been in the 
clearer definition of objectives in the education of young children 
and their parents, in a more sympathetic attitude toward parental 
problems, and in improved methods of organization of procedures. 


So many threads of social progress are interwoven in the de- 
velopment of preschool and parental education that a discussion of 
sources under separate headings appears to be arbitrary and tends 
to be misleading. However, there seems to be no other way to em- 
phasize sufficiently the various factors which have contributed to 
the present status of the movement. In tracing the development 
of the kindergarten and nursery school as organized systems of 
preschool education/the transition^of public attitude toward early 
education parallels improvement in organization. The early history 
of the kindergarten and the nursery school indicates a common 
origin in the early infant schools. These infant schools which 
preceded the kindergarten and nursery school as now functioning 
appear to have been philanthropic in purpose, planned primarily 
as a substitute for home care rather than as a supplement to the 
education of the normal home. 

1. Influence of Comenius 

John Amos Oomenius (1592-1670) seems to have been among 
the first to realize that social conditions could be improved by 
broadened education. Like most of his contemporaries, he be- 

Forest, Use, Preschool Education, quoted from "Infant Schools in Lom- 
bardy," Quarterly Jowr. of Edwo., Vol. X, April-October, 1835. 


lieved in the innate depravity of childhood, but also believed that 
education could correct evil tendencies. He has been designated as 
the "Father of the Modern Kindergarten," but his title may well 
be expanded to include the modern nursery school. Parental educa- 
tion also seems to have occupied a definite place in his educational 
scheme. Living at a time when education was primarily for pur- 
poses of religious teaching, he advocated a mother school in every 
home in order to "care especially for the soul .... and next 
attend to the body that it may be a fit and worthy habitation for 
the soul. ' ' 6 In his School of Infancy he outlined a home curriculum 
which included, among numerous other experiences food, sleep, 
fresh air, and exercise. 

He also urged mothers to nurse their infants and argued for 
regularity of habits. In carrying his educational program into the 
home he suggests one important aspect of the modern nursery 

2. Eighteenth-Century Educators 

a. Oberlin. A little more than a century later, Jean Frederic 
Oberlin (1740-1826), a Lutheran minister, established an infant 
school at Walbach, France. His purpose appears to have been 
philanthropic, with religious and moral training as chief objectives. 
The living conditions of the peasants of France were wretched at 
that time, following years of war. Oberlin perceived the connection 
between physical misery and moral degradation and planned schools 
to care for the young children of the poor. Although his effort was 
not well-supported at the time by the people who were in a position 
to help him, infant schools were systematized and adopted as a 
part of the French national system about fifty years later. 

5. Pestalozzi. In Switzerland, a contemporary of Oberlin, John 
Heinrieh Pestalozzi (1734-1805), was also working to improve the 
conditions of the poor through education. His work was more 
eagerly received than that of Oberlin, and his influence upon pre- 
school and teacher-training institutions of later years can readily 
be traced. Rousseau's belief in the freedom of the child in school 
and Locke's interest in psychological methods of teaching were evi- 

Taylor, Nell Boyd, The Education of the Prepritnary Child, p, 16. 
Quoted from Monroe, Will, The Great Educator Comenws. 


denced in Pestalozzi's ideas of educational method. His early ex- 
periments contributed directly to the kindergarten as outlined by 
Froebel some years later. His emphasis upon the importance of 
infant education and consequent attention to the life of the child 
in the home can also be traced in the later infant schools of England 
and France. He hoped to bring about social reform through train- 
ing in domestic industries. The Mayos, whose names are asso- 
ciated with the English nursery-school movement, studied with 
Pestalozzi. Through them his influence upon the later infant schools 
of England was direct. 

3. Early Schools of England 

a. Schools of Robert Owen. The first infant schools of England 
and Scotland were planned with a purpose which was not unlike 
that of the day nurseries of the present day, but an organized 
scheme of educational procedure marked the schools from the first. 
The pioneer in the movement in Scotland was Robert Owen, a 
cotton-mill owner. Impressed with the suffering of the laboring 
classes due to the Industrial Revolution, as workers changed from 
rural to city life, Owen felt the necessity for caring for the young 
children who were left at home while their mothers and fathers were 
at work. Following some years of social experiment in New Lanark, 
Scotland, he opened an infant school in 1816. Like Pestalozzi and 
Rousseau, he reacted against the religious and moral teaching which 
had constituted the main objective of earlier schools and stressed 
the importance of habit-formation. In his emphasis upon social 
habits he is not unlike modern preschool teachers. "While it is not 
possible to trace all of the earlier efforts which contributed to 
Owen's point of view, the teaching of habits as stressed by John 
Locke, Rousseau's emphasis upon the freedom of the individual, 
and the methods of Pestalozzi are suggested in Owen's program. 
Locke (1632-1704) had argued that character can be formed only 
through the establishment of right habits : ' ' Children are not to be 
taught by rules which will always be slipping out of their Memories. 
What you think necessary for them to do, settle in them by an 
indispensable Practice as often as the Occasion returns; and if 
it be possible, make Occasions." 7 

T Parker, Op. oft., p 15$. 


Owen's early experiments in Great Britain undoubtedly influ- 
enced the later infant school movements in Belgium, Germany, 
France, and the United States. During the twenty-two years that 
intervened between the establishment of Owen's infant school and 
the demonstration of FroebePs kindergarten system in Germany, 
the English nursery-school movement progressed rapidly, although 
the ideals of Owen were not always well maintained. 

Owen employed as a teacher James Buchanan, "a poor, simple- 
hearted weaver, who had previously been trained by his wife to 
perfect submission to her will .... who loved children strongly 
by nature." 8 The selection of this simple weaver proved to be 
less desirable than Owen had anticipated, for within two years 
Buchanan was placed in charge of an infant school opened in 
London in 1818 by Lord Brougham and James Mill. The mild 
methods of Owen gave way to the stern discipline of fear which 
Buchanan's wife enforced, and Ms school furnished a poor model 
for the later experiment of Samual Wilderspin. 

b. Publicity in England. The school which was directed by 
Samuel Wilderspin was opened in Spitalfields, London, by the 
Society of Friends in 1820. Wilderspin 's chief contribution to the 
progress of the infant-school movement was the publicity which he 
gave to early childhood education. He was influential in the 
adoption of infant-school education in Great Britain as a regular 
part of public education, some fifty years later, when schools for 
children between the ages of three and seven were organized, 

c. MetJwds of Pestalozzi. The Mayos, Charles and Elizabeth, 
were instrumental in introducing the methods of Pestalozzi into the 
English infant schools. In 1836, the Reverend Charles Mayo urged 
the foundation of the Home and Colonial Infant School Society 
for the special purpose of training teachers according to the methods 
of Pestalozzi. Their theory appears to be an improvement upon 
the formalism of earlier schools, although religious training occu- 
pied a prominent place. 

While Owen, Buchanan, Wilderspin, and the Mayos were con- 
tributing directly to the infant-school movement in England, in- 
terest in the education of the young child was also evident in 

* Forest, Use, Preschool Eduoation. Quoted from Owen, Life of Robert 
Owen, Written by BtfnwaZ/ (published 1857). G. Bell, Ixmaon, 1920. P. 192, 


France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy. The work of Abate Aporte 
in Italy is particularly significant because of his interest in the 
education of parents, 

1. Froebel's Contribution 

The part played by Froebel in the development of the modern 
preschool movement must not be underestimated, although Ms ideals 
of education have contributed more to the modern program of 
preschool education than his actual procedures. About a decade 
later than the establishment of the Home and Colonial Infant School 
Society in London, Frederic Froebel ( 1782-1852 ) 7 the founder of 
the kindergarten, was the first educational leader to outline a defi- 
nite program of procedures with a parallel statement of ideals. 

Usually mentioned only in connection with the kindergarten 
movement, the writings of Froebel reveal also a great interest in 
the education of parents. Like Pestalozzi, Froebel seems to have 
credited the mothers with an instinct for caring for infants, but 
also like Pestalozzi, he believed that parents could be helped to 
better ideas of child direction. His program marks a high point in 
>the transition from the old ideal of organized education as a sub- 
stitute for home care. In June, 1848, in a circular sent out to call 
a conference of German teachers and educators to discuss the kin- 
dergarten system he writes: "All Germany is looking for a reform 

in education If the building is to be solid we must look to 

the foundations The home education of rich and poor alike must 

be supplemented It therefore behooves the state to establish 

institutions for the education of children, of parents, and of those 
who are to become parents. " 9 

2. Early Developments in the United States 

The development of preschool education in the United States 
during the fifty years following the initial efforts of Froebel is 
most significant if the present status of the nursery-school move- 
ment is to be appreciated. 

Prior to the establishment of the first kindergartens in the 

* Hauschxnann, Alexander Bruno. The Kindergarten System. London: 
S. Sonnenschein, 1897. P. 183. 


United States, Robert Owen had purchased the village of Harmony, 
Indiana, and about 1826 had established a nursery school of over 
one hundred children as a part of his scheme for social reform. 
This nursery school was conducted by the wife of Joseph Neef, 
who was an associate of Pestalozzi. 

About twenty years later, the first German- American kinder- 
gartens were organized. 10 

Following the early German- American kindergartens, the first 
school of the pioneer American type was opened in Boston in 1860 
by Miss Elizabeth Peabody, who spent some time in Europe study- 
ing FroebePs principles. Twelve years later, Claria Boelte estab- 
lished a school which was probably the first demonstration of a 
Froebelian kindergarten in this country. Susan Blow, the well- 
known pioneer, was trained in this kindergarten and became the 
outstanding expositor of the philosophical kindergarten. 

The three leaders who trained the early kindergarten teachers 
in the United States, Elizabeth Peabody, Susan Blow, and Eliza- 
beth Harrison, were all expositors of a vague philosophy which 
caused the kindergarten movement to be somewhat mystical in 
theory. The transition from the transcendental philosophy of the 
early kindergarten to the objective methods of the more free 
organization required about forty years, but since 1900 the progress 
of the modern kindergarten has been little hampered by violent 
disagreements as to fundamental purposes. 

Although the early kindergarten in the United States had little 
in the way of actual procedure to contribute to the modern nursery 
school, the formalism of practice characteristic of these early schools 
appears occasionally in later nursery schools. 

The present movement in progressive kindergarten education 
owes its greatest early impetus to the child-study interests of 
Dr. G. Stanley Hall and Dr. John Dewey 11 and to the leadership 
of Miss Anna Bryan, Miss Patty S. Hill in Louisville, and Miss 
Alice Temple in Chicago. The importance of a well-dcfmed plan 
of child study, as now operative in all nursery schools, apparently 
owes much to this early child-study movement in the United States 

M Vandewalker, Nina, The Kindergarten in American Education. New 
York: Macmillan, 1908. Ch. II. 

"For a more complete discussion of the changes which these educators 
brought about in the kindergarten, see Chapter VII. 


and to the resulting interest in a program of freely organized 


In tracing the development of preschool education in the twen- 
tieth century as it bears most directly upon the modern preschool 
and parental education movement, the development of the English 
nursery school furnishes an example of the merging of earlier edu- 
cational forces. 

a. The Beginnings. The nursery school was officially started 
in England in 1908 when the Board of Education sent out a cir- 
cular proposing the care of children of preschool age. The first 
nursery school in London was established by the McMillans in 1909 
to care for the neglected children of poor parents, 12 

The English Education Act of 1918 provided for nursery schools 
as a part of the public system. Many free kindergartens had been 
established in England prior to this time, and these schools fur- 
nished the pattern for the nursery schools established under the 
Fisher Act of 1918. Like the earlier infant schools, these nursery 
schools were philanthropic in purpose, although educational objec- 
tives were well defined. The modern nursery school owes much of 
its origin to these schools which have developed in England under 
the able leadership of Miss Grace Owen and Miss Margaret 

&. Present Conditions. Following the act of 1918 other nursery 
schools and training centers soon developed, but the progress of the 
schools has been limited greatly by lack of funds. An article by 
Miss Emma Henton describes present conditions as follows: 

Many of these institutions were established in slum areas and 
were recognized as at least one means of solving a difficult social 
problem. . . . Although the workers were keenly alive to the 
vital importance of an educational program for children of this age, 
their duties were so many and varied that most of the time they 
were acting as either nurses or social workers, cleanliness, fresh air 
and medical supervision being the main factors in a healthy regime. 
... A recent visit to a few of our English nursery schools re- 
vealed the teachers full of vision and enterprise, working against 
odds, with little or no sympathy or support from authorities, with 

"McMillan, Rachel. "The nursery school in the Old Country/ ' Pro- 
gressive Etiuc., 2 : 1925, 22-25. 


large groups of children, without adequate or trained help, and with 

very limited equipment. 13 

c. Influence of Montessori. Parallel with the development of 
the free kindergartens in England about 1907 was the work of Dr. 
Maria Montessori in preschool education in Italy. Her schools were 
established in tenement districts where the children of working 
mothers could be given proper care, and mothers be instructed in 
the health guidance of their children. The teaching materials are 
well known in this country as well as in England, but the influence 
of Montessori procedure upon nursery schools is more apparent 
in England than in the United States. 

In the typical English nursery school the didactic materials of 
Montessori seem to occupy a prominent place. In the use of these 
materials and in the retention in the program of formal Froebelian 
practices such as the opening circle and devotional exercises the 
English nursery school is differentiated from the modern progres- 
sive kindergarten of the United States. Since both developments 
are contributing largely to the nursery school in this country, an 
increased interaction of the two programs seems to be a desirable 
outcome of the near future, when the best of American progressive 
kindergarten procedure may be merged with the best of English 
nursery-school theory and practice. 


A glance at present-day practice in preschool education in 
different countries shows the extent of the movement and suggests 
the rapidity of the development of nursery-school education. Writ- 
ing in 1925, Miss Emma Henton stated that twenty-five nursery 
schools were in operation in England at that time* 14 

There are no schools on the 'Continent which may be classified 
as nursery schools, but schools for children under five years of age 
are numerous. Dr. Mildred Mtidgett, in making a study of ** Legis- 
lation Affecting the Preschool Child in Certain European Coun- 
tries," while holding a fellowship from the Social Science Research 
Council, visited many Continental schools during 1925-1926. In a 

"Henton, Emma. "The nursery-school movement in England and 
America." Childhood Eduo., 1: 1925, 413-417. 
w Henton, Emma. Loo. cit. 


pamphlet issued by the Educational Office of the American Asso- 
ciation of University Women she reports upon European schools 
for young children. 15 She presents the following information con- 
cerning schools in some of the leading countries of Europe. 

i* Belgium 

Educational work in Belgium is closely associated with the name 
of Dr. Decroly, who has been called "the John Dewey of Europe," Even 
in the field of preschool education, he has made his contribution. In his 
fecole de L'Ermitage he has a class of eighteen children between the 
ages of three and six. The work with these children emphasized sense 
training and habit formation in preparation for the Decroly method. 
All subjects in the curriculum are related in an important way to the 
needs of man and to his relation to society, and the same teacher carries 
one group of children through from the first grade to high school. . . . 

It was surprising to find even three-year-olds going home for lunch, 
but they have two and one-half hours' recess, which permits a rest period 
at home before returning for the afternoon. Of course, these children 
all pay tuition and come from upper class homes. . . . 

The Decroly ideas have not been confined to his own school,* for 
some of the kindergartens as well as the higher grades in the Brussels 
public schools have adopted many of his methods. The kindergarten 
on Rue de Clef is an interesting contrast to some of the other public 
kindergartens in Brussels. One hundred and seventy children between 
the ages of two and six attend, of whom forty are under three. 

2. Switzerland 

When new educational ideas have been demonstrated in a private 
school and then incorporated in the public school system, such accept- 
ance may be considered proof at least of their feasibility. In Geneva 
such proof on a large scale is found in La Maison des Petits which was 
started by the J. J. Rousseau Institute, but which has not become a pub- 
lic kindergarten. . . . Individual achievement records are kept ac- 
cording to a chart which outlines the child's intellectual development. 
... La Maison des Petits has more contact with the homes than many 
European schools through monthly visits of the teachers to the homes 
and through meetings with the parents where teaching methods arc 

3- Italy 

Madame Montessori has until recently been a prophet without honor 
in her own country. Montessori schools have prospered in most 

"Mudgett, Mildred Bennett. ISwopean Schools for Preschool Children. 
Washington, D* 0.: Educational Office of the Ajnencan Association of Uni- 
versity Women, 1927. 


European countries except Italy. This situation was changed this year 
by Mussolini's decision that the famous educator had something to 
contribute to Italian education. She was invited to return to Milan 
in the spring of this year and give a six months' training course to 
one hundred and seventy-eight teachers, both religious and lay. Upon 
completing the course they will fill positions in both public and private 

4. Austria 

The education of little children in Vienna is especially vital now, 
because the new municipal apartment houses which are being built for 
working classes are to contain kindergartens, and there is considerable 
rivalry between the proponents of Montesson and Froebelian methods 
as to which shall be used in these new schools. The Montessori pro- 
ponents will not be prepared to furnish teachers until the present group 
of thirty students in the training school complete their two-year course. 
The Froebelian method predominates in the public kindergartens al- 
ready in operation. The Board of Education is reported to be making a 
careful study of the whole subject before advocating any changes. If 
they make as thorough a study in this field as the Social Democrats have 
done in other fields involving the physical and mental care of young 
children, one may expect some very satisfactory efforts in preschool 
education in Vienna. 

5. Germany 

No study of the education of the European preschool child would 
be complete without a visit to the Pestalostzi-FroebeUHaus in Berlin 
where 350 students are preparing for kindergarten teaching. Eight hun- 
dred children between the ages of three and six form the classes for 
the practice teaching, which are located in different centers throughout 
the city. ... In addition to the teacher's diary, individual records 
are kept of the children's progress. The family histories of the pupils 
are secured by the Jugendamt, the public department of child welfare. 

Dr. Mudgett's report indicates a growing interest on the Con- 
tinent in the education of preschool children. 

6. Russia 

The problem of the mother in industry is one which challenges 
social workers at all times. In Soviet Russia the program of pre- 
school and parental education is progressing rapidly* In many ways 
the program is suggestive to leaders in other countries. lir. Lucy 
Wilson, of the South Philadelphia High School for Girls, has made 


a special study of the situation. In The New Schools of New 

Russia 1 * she speaks thus : 

Until the age of three, the child is the responsibility of the depart- 
ment of health. Characteristically, the care begins before birth with 
the release of the mother for a period of 12 to 16 weeks from all labor, 
with full wages. . . . 

Much has been done and is still being done to educate the mother 
properly to care for her child. Mother-and-child posters are innumerable 
and widely distributed. Mother-and-child museums are numerous, well 
equipped, and much visited. . . . 

As usual, in the Soviet Union, this work is carried on not only 
officially by the department of health, . . . but also cooperatively by 
trades unions, in factories, and by cooperatives in their store. Recently, 
special instructions have been worked out for the organization of Mother 
and Child Welfare Corners in Cooperative Stores. In addition to 
posters, there will be exhibited, in glass cases, samples of suitable dishes, 
underclothing, outside garments, shoes, toys, literature. 

In connection with every trades union or state factory there are pre- 
schools for the education and care of the children of their workers. In 
addition to the creche, there are hearths and kindergartens and play- 
grounds for children of all ages to eight. These are financed from the 
culture fund of the factory, organized by the factory committee of the 
workers, but professionally supervised either by the Health Commis- 
sariat, for children under three, or by the Education Commissariat, for 
the older children. . . - 

As it considers the preschool institutions as a means of freeing 
the working and peasant women from the enslavement of household 
cares and as a means of including them in the social life of the coun- 
try, the Commissariat of Education gives particular attention to that 
part of its activity and strives to secure for the organization of the 
kindergartens, hearths, and playgrounds the collaboration of various 
municipal and rural authorities. 


The growth of nursery schools in the United States is discussed 
in some detail in Chapter VIII. Interest in preschool education 
as a necessary aspect of the broader educational program is general 
in this country. Unlike early infant schools and the English nurs- 
ery schools, these schools for children three years of age and 
younger which have developed in the United States have been pri- 
marily for educational experiment, for demonstration of educa- 

"Wilson, Lucy. The New Schools of New Russia. New York: Vanguard 
Press, 1928. Pp. 


tional methods or for purposes of research, and not for the relief 
of working mothers or neglected children. 

The progress of preschool and parental education in the United 
States, while greatly influenced by earlier educational experiments 
in Europe, is also the result of many related social forces, which 
have developed in this country, for the most part, since 1890. 

Attention to the physical care of children can be traced through- 
out the history of the preschool movement, following emphasis 
upon religious and moral education. Like other developments, the 
progress of the health movement has been irregular. During the 
past twenty-five years in this country there has been a steady 
growth of interest in the health problems of the normal young child. 
In the light of this development, the emphasis which the modern 
nursery school places upon the establishment of health habits can 
readily be understood. 

Growing interest in child study has beeix another characteristic 
development which has contributed directly to the present move- 
ment in preschool and parental education. The influence of this 
interest has been most marked in the nursery schools of the United 
States and is basic in the organization of many modern parental 
education projects. 

Appreciation of the necessity for cooperation between home and 
school has been steadily growing during the past twenty or thirty 
years. The influence of this trend upon the modern movement 
in preschool and parental education is evident. 

A fourth development, of which the influence can be readily 
traced, is the mental hygiene movement. To keep a child physically 
healthy, while a worthy educational objective, is recognized as only 
one objective. 

The importance of wise management of the home, with par- 
ticular attention to the characteristic interests of the various mem- 
bers of the family, is a fifth development which bears upon the 
present status of the parental education and preschool movement. 

Organized parental education efforts, representative of these 
five threads of interest, have developed rapidly in this country. 
Typical of such earlier developments, prior to the establishment 
of the first modern nursery schools in the United States, are the 
Child Study Association of America, the National Congress of 


Parents and Teachers, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, 
the American Child Health Association, and extension programs of 
Home Economics, conducted by Land Grant Colleges. 

1. Growing Interest in Child Study 

a. Child Study Association. The Child Study Association of 
America is a pioneer movement of outstanding significance. 17 The 
following extract from a statement issued by a representative of the 
Association sketches the origin and scope of its program : 

The Child Study Association of America had its beginning in 1888, 
when an eminent leader in the new educational movement interested a 
group of mothers in studying the history and progress of education as 
it applied to their own problems of child training. Under his inspira- 
tion and guidance a group of three mothers came together, and contin- 
ued to meet regularly throughout the year, to study and discuss the 
changes that had come about through the new contributions in child 
psychology, and the new methods in education that had evolved. The 
second year 1889 saw five mothers in the group and the work more 
systematically planned. A course of study was outlined and meetings 
held regularly each week from November to May. The work proved 
so stimulating and practical that thirty new members joined the group 
the following year, and the name, "Society for the Study for Child 
Nature," was adopted. 

While there is record that in 1894 the Society was asked to help in 
forming a similar society in Montclair, New Jersey, the first real out- 
growth was the formation, in 1896, of Chapter I of the Society for the 
Study o Child Nature. The organization of the second chapter took 
place in 1903. Other chapters were added, until m 1908 it seemed neces- 
sary to have a central organization which could serve as a headquarters 
for reports and as a medium for gathering and evaluating material, and 
for pooling resources to secure lectures and conferences supplementing 
the work of the study groups. It seemed most appropriate to call this 
the "Federation for Child Study/' and it formulated its aims thus: "to 
secure, tabulate and distribute infprmation concerning methods of child 
study and their practical application, to undertake original research, to 
furnish means of cooperation between societies having similar aims, and 
to conduct conferences and lectures." Tn 1924, the organization was 
incorporated under the name "Child Study Association of America " At 
the same time the Association's work was extended over a wider field 
reaching many more groups both within and beyond the mctiopohtan 
area of New York City, training leaders in parental education to meet 

" The present program of this Association is described moro fully in 
Oh. X. 


the increasing demand for leadership, and publishing pamphlet material 
and a monthly magazine." 

b. Program for College Women. During the last decade of the 
nineteenth century there appeared work done by a group of college 
women under the direction of Dr. Millicent Shinn. 19 The presi- 
dent of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, in an address 
in 1893, described the project thus: "In the fall of 1890, steps 
were taken providing for the presentation of a plan by which those 
members who were interested could unite in a systematic study of 
the development of children, with special reference to securing the 
best basis for their later intellectual life. The special committee 
has studied the problem with diligence and care and has had the 
active cooperation of eminent specialists. The schedules for ob- 
servations on child life, which, have been prepared, are now ready 
for use, and it is extremely desirable that as large a nitmber of 
careful and intelligent observers as possible should join in the 
study." 20 

Writing in the Forum for February, 1894, about the new field 
of child study, Oscar Chrisman said that among a number of 
societies which had been formed for the study of the child one of 
the two most promising was "the 'Association of Collegiate Alum- 
nae' which has a 'section for the study of the development of chil- 
dren.' Mrs. Annie Howes Barns, of Washington, D. C., is chairman 
of this section, and the committee has issued a circular containing 
outlines of the work. A very pleasing notice in this circular is 
that ' Professor Preycr, of Berlin University, the leading specialist 
on this subject has offered to examine and return all six-months 
scries of notes taken in accordance with directions .... and for- 
warded to him by the committee; and it is recommended that as 
many observers as possible avail themselves of the offer.' " 2l 

This program of study was carried on intensively until well into 
the twentieth century. College graduates kept diaries, filled in 

M Quoted from a recent statement issued by the Child Study Association 
of America 

10 Author of Biography of a Baby and other studies of children. 

*Mock, Lois Haydcn. "A preschool project for university women-" 
Progressive Educ, 2: 1925, 38-41. 

*Chrisnrmn, Oscar "Child study, a now department of education. " 
Forum, 1(5: 1804, 723-736. 


the record sheets published by Dr. Shinn, answered numerous ques- 
tionnaires, corresponded with child-study leaders, read and studied 
the wealth of child-study literature which was being published. 

As the importance of child study began to wane, the interest in 
this program lessened. However, early in the recent development 
of preschool education, the interest was revived. In 1923, the 
American Association of University "Women (once the "Association 
of Collegiate Alumnae") adopted as its main objective a program 
of study, rather than a program oJ! action. 22 This program includes 
a study of preschool education, of public elementary-school educa- 
tion, and adolescent education. It aims to give college women a 
more objective and scientific understanding of children from birth 
through adolescence. It also aims to secure an evaluation of the 
agencies and methods used for the education of children. Through 
such study it is hoped that the methods of dealing with children 
may be improved in homes, in schools, and in other centers estab- 
lished for their education. 23 

Thus was inaugurated a project which has had a far-reaching 
effect on the preschool and parental education movement. Coming 
at a time when interest was slowly gathering, but when many were 
dubious and questioning, it has helped to inform an influential 
public. Moreover, it has built in mnny communities a group of 
women ready and anxious to cooperate in local work in preschool 
and parental education when it has been initiated. Through the 
dissemination of publications, not only among college women but 
among others as well, it has lent a guiding hand to new projects 
and ventures. But more important than all has been the education 
of college women to be better parents. 24 

2. Cooperation Between Home and School 
The National Congress of Parents and Teachers is an organiza- 
tion which is unique in its purpose and program. 25 While the Child 

^Comstock, Ada L. "An interpretation of the national educational pro- 
gram." Jour, of the American Association of University Women, 21: 1928, 

31 Meek. Loo. cit. 

** For a description of the prosont program of this Association in parental 
education, see Ch. X. 

88 For a description of the present program of this organization in parental 
education, see Ch. X. 


Study Association provides a program of study for parents or- 
ganized into small groups, the parent-teacher movement stresses the 
essential contact between home and school 2G The purpose and or- 
ganization of the Congress is described as follows: 

The National Congress of Parents and Teachers chartered under 
the laws of the District of Columbia is a volunteer organization. . . . 
On February 17, 1897, it was organized under the name of the ''National 
Congress of Mothers" by a group of women led by Mrs Theodore W 
Birney and Mrs Phoebe A. Hearst The organizers, both men and 
women, were persons representing the philanthropic, religious, social, 
and political interests of the nation, who realized that while mothers 
have ever been the leading factor in determining the character of young 
children they have failed, lacking guidance and means of cooperation, to 
exert the influence upon the race which might be possible were condi- 
tions beyond the home brought under at least partial control. It was 
the original aim of the Congress of Mothers to secure such control and 
to carry mother-love and mother- thought into all that concerns or 
touches childhood in home, school, church, or state. 

The work of the Congress expanded rapidly. Branches were organ- 
ized in many states, and a magazine was established (Child Welfare). 

From the first it has been the policy of the Congress to reach in a 
helpful and intimate way the two social institutions exercising the most 
direct influence upon young children, the home and the school. To this 
end, it early entered upon a nation-wide campaign for the organization 
of parent-teacher associations. This movement proved popular and m 
order that it might be promoted and directed more effectively there was 
created within the Congress, in the year 1907, a special department In 
charge of this work, and the year following, the name of the organi- 
zation was changed to the "National Congress of Mothers and Parent- 
Teacher Associations," to include this new phase of its development. 

In 1924, owing to the rapid increase of the number of men interested 
in the movement, the name was changed to its present form, "The Na- 
tional Congress of Parents and Teachers."* 7 

3 Physical Plealth Movements 

a. American Child Health Association. Twelve years after the 
organization of the National Congress of Mothers, two national 
movements of great importance were inaugurated, the one tfoalmg 

* For a complete discusHion of tho histoiy, purposes ant! program of this 
association, sec* National Congress of Parents and Teachora, Parents and 
Teachers. Boston: GHnn, 1028. pp. xv, 317. 

37 The National Gongiess of Parents and Tcacftfrs Its History, Organiza- 
tion and Program of Service Washington, D. C., 1027, 


with the physical and the other with the mental health of children. 
The American Child Health Association, as now organized, is the 
result of the amalgamation in January, 1923, of the American Child 
Hygiene Association, founded in 1909, and the Child Health Asso- 
ciation of America. The Association aims to bridge the gap be- 
tween the research of the specialist and the immediate problem of 
the parent in the home and the teacher in the classroom. While 
the present organization of the American Child Health Association 
was not effected until 1923, the health movement which it sponsors 
was well under way prior to that time and should therefore be 
considered as an early force, influencing the present movement in 
preschool and parental education 

6. Children's Bureau. The health and infant hygiene move- 
ment has been greatly facilitated by Federal agencies. In 1912, 
the Children's Bureau was organized to study matters pertaining 
to child welfare and to make reports of investigations. The estab- 
lishment of this Bureau can no doubt be attributed to public interest 
in reducing infant mortality and in safeguarding the health of 
young children. 

c. Others. New York State, two years later, 1914, established 
the first State Department of Child Hygiene. In 1921, a Federal 
Maternity and Infancy Law, the Sheppard-Towner Act, was passed, 
making possible cooperation between the Children's Bureau and 
various state organizations. 

4. The Mental Hygiene Movement 

a. National Committee for Mental Hygiene. Parallel with the 
organization of the American Child Hygiene Association in 1909, 
the National Committee for Mental Hygiene was organized. While 
the original purpose was the care of insane adults, a study of their 
difficulties led speedily to a study of prison inmates and to case 
studies in the juvenile courts. From a consideration of the emo- 
tional problems of the delinquent, a program of methods of pre- 
venting delinquency was a logical step, and interest in the emo- 
tional needs of the normal young child the inevitable outcome. 

&. Visiting Teacher. The Visiting Teacher Movement, begun 
in 1906, and organized in 1919, 28 may be considered as an in- 

"Nudd, Howard W, "Contributions of the visiting teacher to child ad- 
justment. ' J Progressive JSduc. t 3 : 1926, 26-30. 


dispensable aspect of the mental hygiene movement and also as 
contributory to the present program of preschool and parental 
education. 29 

5. Extension Work of the Land Grant Colleges 

Prior to the establishment of preschool study groups for parents 
and to the widespread interest in the young child, home economics 
departments in land grant colleges throughout the country were 
engaged in programs of vocational homemaking through college 
curricula and extension courses. Because they had established 
contacts with women in the home and because they could offer 
materials which appeared to be immediately practical to the home- 
maker, home economics teachers have been able to pave the way for 
later developments more directly related to the present interest in 
parental education. 30 


The establishment of pioneer nursery schools in the United 
States during the period 1919 to 1923 would vseem to be tho in- 
evitable result of earlier developments in this country and in 
Europe. Influenced by all the forces previously mentioned* the 
nursery-school and parental education movements, since 1922, have 
become so closely interrelated as to no longer be considered inde- 
pendent movements. 

The development of nursery schools has been so rapid that it 
is almost impossible to trace the influences which have been at work. 
One of the most outstanding characteristics of this growth has been 
the variety of avenues all of which have led to the establishment 
of nursery schools Psychological research, home economics, edu- 
cational methods and curricula, preschool clinics, professional 
careers for married women, philanthropy, and mothers' cooperative 
care of children are a few of them. It is significant, too, that 

Williams, Frankwood. "The field of mental hygieno." Progressive 
Edue., 3: 1026 

<l0 A (Inscription of present extension programs in parental education i 
tfivon in Oh X. 

'" Foi a diwripiion and discussion of the nursery school as an educational 
agency, woo Ch. VIII. 


several of the pioneer nursery schools in this country came into 
being at about the same time. This was probably due to the many 
influences on child welfare already described, including the de- 
velopment of nursery schools in England following the Education 
Act of 1918. 

1. Philanthropy 

For the most part nursery schools which have been developing 
in the United States during the past eight or nine years differ from 
the English in that the philanthropic aims are not emphasized. 
However, one of the earliest nursery schools in the United States, 
one that is perhaps more like the English nursery school than most 
others in this country, the Nursery Training School of Boston 
(originally the Buggies Street Nursery School and Training 
Center) , 32 is like the English schools in being partially philanthropic 
in purpose 

"In 1920, the Woman's Education Association of Boston (for 
fifty years this organization has been instrumental in starting and 
furthering new lines of work in matters of educational importance) 
decided to start a nursery school along the lines of the English 
nursery schools. Because 110 one could be found ready to take 
charge of such an experiment, the Association sent Miss Abigail A. 
Eliot, the present Director of the Ruggles Street Nursery School, 
to England for six months to study the nursery schools there. The 
Ruggles Street Nursery School actually came into being on her 
return, January 1, 1922. It is under tho auspices of the "Woman's 
Education Association of Boston, and the committee in charge of 
its affairs is a committee of this Association." 3 ? 

2. Research in Educational Curricula and Methods 

The kindergarten-primary department of Teachers College, 
Columbia University, was early interested in the education of chil- 
dren below kindergarten age. In 1905, there was some discussion 
of taking over the educational work in a day nursery in New York 
City. This did not materialize, but the department did not lose 

w For a detailed description of this school, sco Oh. VIII. 
w Gosoll, Arnold. The Preschool CliM from tho Standpoint of 
Hygitne and Education. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1923 Pp. 52-53. 


interest. In 1916, the courses in curricula and methods included 
consideration of children as young as two years. Finally, in 1919, 
the department sponsored a project of a group of parents to have 
their two-year-olds together in the morning. Sunny days found 
them in the park, but on rainy days they gathered in a room of 
the college However, it was not until the spring of 1921 that the 
college authorized the opening of a nursery school under Kathleen 
Edwards, a teacher brought from England. That summer Miss 
Grace Owen gave a series of lectures at the college, and nursery- 
school education was established at Teachers College. 

The first nursery school at Teachers College, operated in con- 
nection with the kindergarten department, was discontinued after 
the establishment in 1924 of the two nursery schools of the Institute 
of Child Welfare Research. 34 While the kindergarten department 
continued to use the nursery schools as laboratories for the training 
of students, curricular experimentation gave way to controlled 
research studies. 

In 1919, the Bureau of Educational Experiments had opened a 
nursery school in the City and Country School in New York City. 
The purpose of this school was to study the growth needs of chil- 
dren in order to determine educational program, procedures, and 
materials. 35 "From the beginning the experiment was guided less 
by the past history of educational procedures and routines than by 
certain fundamental scientific facts and principles out of which 
methods could be evolved and by which they could be judged." 36 

3. Home Economies 

About this time (1922) the first nursery school to be tised as a 
laboratory for the education of young girls in the care and training 
of children was opened at the Merrill-Palmer School of Home- 
making in Detroit. 37 Following the leadership of this school other 
similar laboratories for child study and child care were opened in 
many home economics departments of land grant colleges/* 8 Tht* 

M For a detailed description of this school, see Oh. VIII. 

Tor a report of the first eight years' work in this school, sec Johnson, 
Harriot M., Children in the Nursery School. New York: John Bay, 1928, 

/&!., p. vii. 

M For a detailed description of this school, see Ch. VIII. 

**TTor a complete discussion of the development of preparental education, 
seo Ch XL 


first was at the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic 
Arts in the winter of 1924, 39 followed the next year by similar ones 
at Cornell University and at Ohio State University. 

At the time of the opening of the nursery school at Cornell, the 
director made the following statement: "For several years child 
training courses have been given in the College of Home Economics 
at Cornell University, but the directors of the College appreciated 
that the approach through lectures only was largely theoretical. 
They were therefore anxious to develop laboratory facilities with 
a view to putting the whole project on a more practical basis " 40 

Probably the first nursery school for the use of high-school stu- 
dents of homemaMng was opened at Highland Park, Michigan, in 
December, 1924. 

4. Cooperation of Parents 

A unique story about the organization of nursery schools is 
told by the -Chicago Cooperative Nursery School. In 1915 a small 
group of wives of faculty members of the University of Chicago 
organized a cooperative nursery for the care of their young chil- 
dren. The aim of this original group of seven was to offer an 
opportunity for wholesome play for their children, to give the' 
mothers certain hours of leisure from child care, and to try the 
social venture of cooperation of mothers in child care. Incidentally, 
it afforded an excellent opportunity for learning to understand 
their own children better. 

The nursery was located in four rooms in a college hall until 
1924, when building plans of the University necessitated a new 
arrangement. At that time money was raised to buy a three-story 
house with grounds bordering University property. At the same 
time the board of directors was incorporated and a ten-year work- 
ing connection with the University established. The University 
provides maintenance, heat, light, janitor service, repairs, and 

In 1927 an arrangement was made whereby an advisory com- 
mittee was formed, composed of the president of the parents' asso- 
ciation, a nutritionist from the home economics department of the 

M For a detailed description of this school, see Chs. VIII, X, and XI. 
40 Child Study Association of America. Conference on Parental Education. 
Bronxville, New York, 1.925. P. 9. 


University, and the head of the kindergarten department. Thus, 
a closer connection was made educationally with the University. 

This is the oldest cooperative venture in the nursery-school field. 
Much of the credit for its long and continuous history is due to 
Mrs. David Stevens, one of the original seven mothers who still 
contribute loyal support and interest. 41 

As an outgrowth of the Buggies Street Nursery School, the 
Cambridge Nursery School illustrates a different type of coopera- 
tive organization. 42 Mrs. Esther Schell, one of the parents active 
in the organization of the school, gives the following report : 

In the winter of 1922 there were in Cambridge two groups of 
mothers, unknown to each other, who were attempting", somewhat feebly, 
educational experiments with their children of preschool age. I had 
in my own home four children in charge of a kmdergartner for two 
hours every morning- The second group did not use a kindergartner; 
the mothers took turns acting as director. Members of both groups 
visited the Nursery School at Rugglcs Street, in Boston, and were so 
impressed by what was being done there that they said, "Why can't we 
have the same thing 1 for our children ?" 

During this winter, too, the Woman's Educational Association of 
Boston wished to try the Nursery School idea with a group of children 
from educated homes to see if it had general application. Miss Kliot, 
who is in charge of Rugglcs Street, happened to know both Cambridge 
groups. At the same time word came from the McMillan School in 
London that a young nursery-school teacher wished to try some pio- 
neering m the United States, and might be available for us. Miss Kliot 
called a meeting of the Cambridge mothers and after some deliberation 
we agreed to try a ten weeks' experiment. None of us knew anything 
about nursery schools. We felt that probably our four- and five-year- 
olds would not be harmed by it, and we watched x r cry carefully to see 
what effect it might have on the younger ones. 

The school started in a private house with the simplest equipment, 
with eight eager, anxious mothers and eight eager, happy children.* 1 

The Cooperative Nursery School -at Smith College was organized 
as a part of a larger program for women in connection with the 
Institute for the Coordination of Women's Interests.** 

The Institute for the Coordination of Women's Interests was 
founded in July, 1925, at Smith College, with the purpose of finding 

41 Descriptions of thia school have "been published from time to time in thf 
Journal of Hovie Economics. See 12: 1920, 72; 15: 1923,423; 16:1924,646. 

48 For a detailed dosci iption of thia school, sec Oh. VIII. 

4 *Schell, Esther S. " Tho independent nursery school/ * from the* Nu 
School as a Social Experiment, 1928. Smith College Publication. 

44 For a detailed description of this school, see Ch. VHI, 


principles and methods for the continuity of women's individual, intel- 
lectual, or professional interests, in harmony with their family respon- 
sibilities. The early statements of the program and policy of the In- 
stitute brought out that the educated woman's present disuse after mar- 
nage of special powers which it has cost much in money, time, and 
effort to achieve, is an element of social waste, and a source of much 
personal regret, in some cases mounting to unhappmess. The central 
aim of the Institute was thus seen as an aim toward the conservation 
of valuable social material. . . . 

It was clear that for the persons we had in mind that is, women 
college graduates, relatively young, with family responsibilities, and with 
incomes in the professional or academic range types of cooperative 
service or assistance in the household offered the most immediately fruit- 
ful field for study, for this reason: that such arrangements, if success- 
ful, gave, along with money saving and assurance of quality, a certain 
individual release from care or interruption which was the one great 

The reasons why the Cooperative Nursery School 40 was selected as 
the object of our first experiment were several. First, the theory and 
desirable forms of the nursery school itself were fairly well established; 
it was the object of warm and growing interest on the part of parents; 
and it offered good hope of a large extension of uninterrupted periods 
of time for the mother, and was therefore immediately within the pur- 
view of the Institute. It seemed, therefore, to offer a combination of 
practicability and usefulness as a first experimental demonstration in the 
field of household adjustments. . . . 

The school may also offer limited opportunities for teacher-training, 
as its relation to the Smith College department of education becomes 
progressively closer. But it should be emphasized that these features 
are always limited by the original purposes of the school as interpreted 
by the parents' organization. 

The element of research presented by the school is thus to be found 
almost wholly in its character as an experiment in the basis of coordina- 
tion of women's interests.** 

5. Research in Child Development 

It is probably true that in the early history of nursery schools 
in the United States, research in child development was the result, 
rather than the instigation, of the organization of the nursery 
school. Such was certainly the case at Teachers College and at 
the Merrill-Palmer School. However, the interest in research was 

* Organized in 1926. 

** Howes, Ethel Puffer, and Beach, Dorothea. The Cooperative Nursery 
School, 1928. Smith College Publication. 


the initiating motive which led to the organization of a nursery 
school at the University of Iowa. At the Iowa Child Welfare 
Research Station a preschool psychological laboratory was estab- 
lished in 1921. 47 This school as originally developed is not to be 
classified as a nursery school, since the founder, Dr. Bird Baldwin, 
organized groups of young children not for the purposes of demon- 
strating educational procedures nor of experimenting with methods 
of teaching little children, but for the maintenance of a constant 
group which could be observed daily under favorable environmental 
conditions for a period of several years. Following the preschool 
laboratory experience, children were observed in the demonstration 
school kindergarten and higher grades. However, the experience 
with children in the preschool laboratory led to the organization 
of a home laboratory or nursery school in 1925, * 8 

Following Columbia University, Merrill-Palmer, and Iowa, each 
of the many institutes for child welfare research which have been 
organized during the past few years maintains a nursery school as 
a center for research in child development and parent education. 49 
Perhaps the chief contribution of nursery schools organized in re- 
search centers is the opportunity offered for a wide range of in- 
vestigations of childhood needs and characteristics. 

6. Teacher Training 

Pioneer work in the training of nursery-school teachers was 
done by Merrill-Palmer School, Ruggles Street Nursery School, arul 
Teachers College, Columbia University. More recently normal 
schools and teachers colleges are manifesting a keen interest in the 
maintenance of nursery schools as centers for the training of 
students. Some of the teacher-training institutions have opened 
nursery schools not in order to train nursery-school teachers but 
in order to give students studying to be kindergarten or primary 
teachers an opportunity to observe and work with younger children. 
This is in line with the modern emphasis upon continuity in the 
education of children. The University of California at LOB 

47 Bulletin of th& University of Iowa, June 24, 1922, 

* For a detailed description of this school, see Ch. VIII. 

4 " For a more complete description of these research centers, see Ch. X. 


Angeles, the National Kindergarten and Elementary College, 50 the 
Cleveland Kindergarten-Primary Training School of Western Re- 
serve University, 51 and the public normal schools at Kalamazoo, 
Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have typical programs for 
the training of teachers through contact with the nursery school 
and the parents of nursery-school children. 

7. Supplement to Clinics 

The Play School for Habit Training, located in the North Ben- 
net Street Industrial School of Boston, was the first nursery school 
to be opened as a supplement to a behavior clinic. 52 The objectives 
of this school are best described in the words of Grace Caldwell, 
the director: 

In November, 1922, we started at the North Bennet Street Indus- 
trial School an experiment in rehabilitation Our subjects for repair 
were so tiny and our program sounded so serious that we were jokingly 
referred to in a newspaper writeup as "Boston's Newest Educational 
Venture, The Baby College" We have not felt justified in granting 
many degrees, but many of our little students have struggled hard to 
earn them. . . . 

As this reconditioning is our special problem, the children admitted 
to our 'College' arc very carefully selected. In order to matriculate, each 
must present a record of temper tantrums, habitual grouchmcss, thumb 
sucking, nail biting, enuresis, fears, jealousy or just bad adjustment of 
some kind. We believe that ours has been the only school to limit its 
group to problem children of preschool age. We do not call our experi- 
ment a nursery school, for our object is study and experiments in be- 
havior problems. . . . 

The selection of our groups is now taken care of by admitting only 
children referred by the North End Branch of the State Habit Clinics. 53 

In connection with the Yale Psycho-Clinic a Guidance Nursery 
was opened in 1926. This is not a nursery school but an adaptation 
of the nursery-school idea to the needs of a service clinic. It is a 
device for the observation and guidance of young children and their 
parents. The nursery has no fixed enrollment. The organization 

00 For a description of the Mary Orano Nursery School used by the National 
Kindergarten and Elementary College as a practice school, see Ch. VIII. 

81 For a description of the nursery schools of the Cleveland Day Nursery 
and Kindergarten Association used by the Cleveland Kindergarten-Primary 
Training School of Western Reserve University as practice schools, see Ch, VIII. 

63 For a detailed description of this school, see Ch. VTII. 

"Caldwell, Grace JVC. "The Play School for Habit Training" Boston 
Teachers News Letter, January, 1928. 


and program therefore differ from that of a nursery school. The 
guidance work is conducted on a dispensatory basis and the pro- 
cedure is varied to meet the needs of individual parents or children. 
Its activities and attendance vary from week to week and from 
day to day. 54 

8. Liberal Arts Colleges 

There has been a great deal of discussion during the past few 
years about the advisability of offering in the women's liberal arts 
colleges a curriculum for the woman who will become a home- 
maker. This has been due largely to the pressure of alumnae who 
married and found themselves with no specific preparation for 
homemaking and parenthood. Eva vom Baur Hansl has been one 
of the most ardent writers on the subject. In one article she says: 
"But what has all this to do with the Liberal Arts College? It is 
quite meet and proper that schools of Household Arts should con- 
cern themselves with questions of child training and feeding hu- 
manity, but why try to introduce these subjects into an under- 
graduate curriculum? There are a great many more or less violent 
expressions of opposition to any such modifications of the college 
curriculum as the inclusion of a nursery school as a laboratory on 
the campus might involve opinions to the effect that the curricu- 
lum is sufficiently crowded as it is; the liberal arts college is no 
place for vocational courses; only 'pure' science should be taught 
in undergraduate courses, applied science belongs in the technical 
school curriculum ; the function of the college is to train the mind 
and to instill a love of the great works and beauties of the past 
that are the very foundation of our civilization and through which 
and without which no comprehension of our civilization is possible, 
etc. But, are not most of those objections, in the last analysis a 
sort of rationalization based on prejudices against change?" 55 

Vassar was the first to heed the demand of its alumnae. Through 
the efforts of Mrs John Wood Blodgett, the department of euthenics 
was opened at Vassar in 1923. During the summer of 1926 the 
Institute of Euthcnics was initiated and a nursery school opened. 
This Institute aimed to give to women college graduates an oppor- 

6 * For a detailed description of this guidance nursery, see Ch. VIII, 
w JIansl, lOvn, vom Baur. "The child has invaded the college campus." 
Journal of the American Association of University Women, 20: 1927, 82*84. 


tunity to learn more about children and homemaking. The nursery 
school was used as a laboratory for child study as well as a place 
for the children to be cared for while the mothers studied. It was 
not until 1927, however, that the nursery school was opened as a 
part of the pre-parental program of the regular college session. 56 

Mills College initiated work in preschool education by the open- 
ing of a nursery school in February, 1927, It was not until the 
following fall, however, that students began to use it as a laboratory 
for child study. 

The nursery school at Smith 57 was initiated by the Institute for 
the Coordination of Women's Interests in 1926 as a demonstration 
of cooperative service among mothers. As such, it was of more sig- 
nificance for alumnae than for the students. 58 

In the year 1926-27 the Nursery School was conducted coopera- 
tively by the Institute, the Parent's Group, and the Department of 
Education. After this year, the trustees of the college considered 
that the Institute had demonstrated the experiment, and the part 
played by the Insitute was transferred to the Department of Edu- 
cation. In the year 1927-28, the Nursery School was conducted by 
the Parent's Group and the Department of Education 59 

9. Kindergarten Interests 

The history of the early development of the kindergarten shows 
very clearly that kindergarten education was really early child- 
hood education. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the 
kindergartners in the United States have taken a very active part 
in the nursery-school movement. Owing to the influence of Pro- 
fessor Patty Hill, of Teachers College, Columbia University, many 
kindergarten teachers have taken supplementary training to become 
nursery-school teachers. In many other places the kindergarten 
department has taken leadership in developing nursery schools. 
Such is the case at the University of California in Los Angeles, 
the National Kindergarten and Elementary College, the Cleveland 
Kindergarten-Primary Training School of Western Reserve Uni- 

w The proparcntal program of Vassar is reported In Ch. XI. 
w For a description of this nursery school, see Ch, VIII. 
Tor a discussion of the purpose of the Institute, see Oh. X. 
w Howes, Ethel Puffer, and Beach, Dorothea. The Cooperative Nursery 
School, Smith College Publication, 1928. 


versity. In the public schools of Kalamazoo, Michigan, a nursery 
school was organized in October, 1926, through the efforts of the 
kindergarten supervisor. 

10. Montessori Influence 

Since the work of Madame Montessori in Italy was with children 
three years old, the Montessori group in the United States, under 
the leadership of the Child Education Foundation in New York 
City, has taken an active part in the development of nursery schools. 

Organized for purposes of educating parents, prospective teach- 
ers, and preschool children, the nursery schools of the Child Edu- 
cation Foundation vary from the typical English or the typical 
modern nursery school in the "United States in that the program 
of Maria Montessori is fundamental in the organization. 60 Miss 
McLin, Director of the Child Education Foundation Training 
School, opened the first nursery school in 1915. "The aim of the 
Child Education Foundation is to study and serve the daily life 
of the child and especially the child of the pre-school age. It in- 
vestigates, develops, demonstrates, and disseminates improved plans 
of child education. It prepares teachers and parents to carry on 
the work. 61 

11. Public Schools 

The movement for the organization of nursery schools as part 
of public school systems has been slow in developing. This has 
been due in large part to the influence of leaders in the nurswy- 
school movement. They have been desirous that the standards for 
health, nutrition, sleep, and outdoor play be safeguarded and that 
nursery schools should not be opened until adequate provisions 
could be made. In the Franklin Public School Nursery in 'Chicago 
an outstanding experiment has been made under the direction of 
Mrs. Alfred ALschuler. Opened in 1925, this nursery school has 
Nhown the possibility of adapting a typical public-school environ- 
ment to the needs of preschool children. 02 

80 For a detailed description of a Montossori Nursery School, aw the 
description of Bowling Green Nursery School, CK VIII, 

61 Bulletin of the Child Education Foundation Training School. 
w For a detailed description of this nursery school, see Ch. VIII. 


Another public school venture has been made in Los Angeles 
by the Board of Education and the Red Cross. The Normandie 
Nursery School was begun in 1926 under the supervision of the 
Department of Psychology and Educational Research. 

12. Other Interests 

Numerous other interests have led to the establishment of 
nursery schools. Of these, the nursery school maintained by the 
Rainbow Hospital for Crippled Children, in Cleveland, Ohio, is 
outstanding. The school was opened in the fall of 1923, supported 
by the Kiwanis Club. Because the little pupils were crippled, the 
procedure in the school necessarily varied from the usual type. 
A second unusual feature of this nursery school is the training of 
nursery maids 63 

The nursery school of Antioch College, organized in 1926, is 
differentiated from the average nursery school by the fact that 
men as well as women students take advantage of the nursery 
school as a child-study center. 

13. National Committee on Nursery Schools 

One of the most significant characteristics of the development 
of nursery schools in the United States is this wide range of in- 
terests which have been and are influential in their organization. 
Such a breadth of interest cannot fail to be conducive to experi- 
mentation and open-mindcdness towards technique and procedures. 
When all roads lead to Rome, Rome is necessarily a center of rich- 
ness and knowledge which make for its own growth and progress. 

The need for an exchange of ideas between these various groups 
was felt by one or two of the leaders in the nursery-school field. 
In June, 1925, twenty-five representative persons were invited to 
confer at Teachers -College, Columbia University, on the advisability 
of some type of organization. 

The desire expressed at that meeting of these varied interests 
to come together for discussion and exchange of ideas brought 
about the first conference of nursery-school workers. They met 
in Washington, D. C., in February, 1926. One day was devoted to 

1 Rainbow Hospital Report of 1925. 


discussions of the various aspects of nursery-school education and 
to descriptions of outstanding projects under way. Many of those 
present believed that it would be most unfortunate for those con- 
cerned with nursery-school education to isolate themselves from 
those engaged in educating other levels of early childhood. There 
was expressed a keen desire for an organization which would 
integrate, rather than divide, all those who are in the field of 
early childhood education. A temporary organization was formed 
with a temporary chairman and secretary, and an advisory com- 
mittee of some ten or fifteen persons. Later, this group met for a 
real workers' conference. 64 At that time the former organization 
was abandoned and the National Committee on Nursery Schools 
formed. This is a committee of not less than fifteen members repre- 
senting various interests concerned in nursery schools. The com- 
mittee is charged with the responsibility of making studies, calling 
conferences, and in other ways furthering progress in the movement 
for nursery schools. 

1. Conferences on Modern Parenthood 

The publicity given by the Child Study Association of America 
to the parental education and child-study movement through the 
first Conference on Modern Parenthood, in October of 1925, has 
been a recent contributory factor of inestimable value. Not only 
is this historical conference to be considered as a potent force in 
spreading interest in preschool children; it is also a most illu- 
minating sign of the times. The first of its kind, the conference 
was attended by 1500 persons, mostly parents, from every state 
in the Union. Comments of the press picture the conference most 
interestingly. 65 

The modern mother, if we are to believe the popular novel and the 
scenario writer, is a pleasure-seeking, irresponsible creature who divides 
her time among- bridge and dancing- and 'parties' where the conduct is 
'advanced' ', while the modern father is even less of a father than he 

04 Report of the Discussions at the Conference on Nursery School*, published 
by the American Association of University Women, Washington, D. C. 7 gives 
an intoi eating account of those discussions. 

60 "For a list of conferences which have been held on parental education, 
BOO Ch. X. 


used to be. But the Conference on Modern Parenthood, held at the 
Waldorf-Astoria last week under the auspices of the Child Study As- 
sociation of America, has framed quite a different picture; a renewed 
sense of parental responsibility and interest which has now reached the 
proportions of a full-fledged national movement. . . . Organized child- 
study groups have grown in numbers prodigiously within the past few 
years, and books on the care and rearing of children find a much more 
ready market. Business and professional mothers give their children of 
preschool age what they believe to be the more expert care and better 
material surroundings of the rapidly growing nursery schools. Whether 
modern parenthood will produce a finer race of men and women than 
the old-fashioned father and mother has yet to be demonstrated; but it 
seems to focus the present set of economic and social change. 6 " 

Much attention is deserved by the conference now holding at the 
Waldorf by the 600 members of the Child Study Association of America. 
The first large meeting of its kind in the United States, it marks a be- 
ginning of realization that children are proper objects of scientific re- 
search. The scientists, of course, cannot take the place of the mothers, 
but they can teach them many useful things and enable them to do in- 
telligently not a little that they now do in accord with blind instinct or 
the advice of women no wiser than themselves. 81 

2. National Council of Parental Education 
The Child Study Association the same year (1925) called a 
round-table conference of representatives of various agencies which 
were working in the field of parental education. This conference, 
financed by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, brought to- 
gether representatives of thirteen organizations. As a result, a 
National Council of Parental Education was formed. The first 
meeting of the Council was held one year later in Detroit, with 
fifty organizations represented* 68 

A recent development within the Council is the establishment in 
1928 of a central office in New York City for the coordination of 
scattered projects in parental education. 

3. Field Service in Parental Education for Home 

Economics Departments 

The program of the American Home Economics Association is 
of outstanding importance in the recent growth of the movement 

** Editorial, The Kew York Tvmes, November 1, 1925. 
"Editorial, The New York Times, October 29, 1925, 
"Published reports of the Child Study Association of America: Confer- 
ence of Parental Education (BronxviUe) and report of the year 1926-27. 


in preschool and parental education. Within the last ten years 
home economics education has enlarged its point of view from 
training in techniques of housekeeping to that of homcmaking t 
with an increased emphasis on the care and training of children 
and family relationships 60 The early efforts for modification were 
merely the introduction of theoretical courses on child care, limited 
almost without exception to the physical care of children. This was 
followed by the placing of a baby in the home-management cottage. 
Thus, a limited experience in the physical care of a baby could 
be obtained. Later, with the introduction of a nursery school, a 
laboratory was provided for the directed observation of preschool 
children and for a study of all the aspects of child development. 
The Merrill-Palmer School was largely responsible for a stimulation 
to incorporate these courses into the home economics curriculum. 
It provided a pattern or method of teaching child development that 
was adaptable. 

In summarizing the achievements of the two years, 1924-26, in 
improving home economics curricula, mention is made of the in- 
clusion of a course in economics of the home, organization of coiirses 
on social relationships of the family, and formulation of a child 
development and parental education program in home economics 
departments of elementary, secondary, and collegiate schools. 

Since 1924 a course in social relationships of the family has been 
organized for students of home economics in certain regular and senior 
high schools. The status of this subject in the home-economics cur- 
riculum until within recent years was similar to the subject of economics 
of the home namely, that smatterings of it were offered in a number 
of other courses. But the increasing number of divorces and broken 
homes has led home economists to realize that the study of human re- 
lationships is as important as the one concerned with home activities, 
and that home economics has a worthy contribution to make to the 
social relationships of the members of the family and in turn \\ill help 
raise the standards of home and family life. 

The objectives of such a course arc to develop in the high-school 
girl certain family ideals, a finer sense of appreciation for the more 
cultured things in life, a sense of responsibility for her relationships to 
the rest of the family, a personality which will help raise the standard 

09 For a complete discussion of present status of prepnrontul education \vith 
special reference to home economics, see Ch. XI. 


of the family morale, and a higher degree of home contentment, home 
interest, and a home-loving attitude. 70 

Even so, the courses in child care played an insignificant part 
in the curriculum of most schools, one quarter, or one semester 
of a four-year course, was the usual time allowed for this subject. 
Yet, with this apparent lack of interest, the demand far exceeded 
the supply of qualified teachers. Many times the instructors were 
only trained in the technique of housekeeping and the science of 
foods and had little or no knowledge of children. 

This interest in child-study courses with its accompanying 
criticisms was not restricted to the academic group but was shared 
by the extension and vocational departments. 

In order to remedy many of these conditions, to meet these 
criticisms, and to provide a means whereby all interests in home 
economies education might profit by the isolated experiments and 
realize the need for placing the proper emphasis on child develop- 
ment, a committee of the American Home Economics Association 
decided that a study should be made of these courses and programs. 
Accordingly, in the fall of 1926 the American Home Economics 
Association appointed a field worker in child development and 
parental education to organize and direct a four-year program 
which would aid the schools and colleges in the establishment of 
their child-development courses and which would promote and 
strengthen this important phase of homemaking. The purpose of 
this office is to determine how home economics can best serve in 
the movement for child development and parental education and 
to establish a consultant service in this field. 71 

5. Training of Leaders 72 

Growth in interest in preschool and parental education has 
been so rapid that it has not been possible to train leaders in suffi- 
cient numbers to fill the demand for teachers, investigators, field 
leaders, and leaders of parental groups. Yet through the awarding 
of annual fellowships to women of established ability in the field 

T *Whitcomb, Emolino S., Achievements in Home Economics Education 
Bulletin, 1927, No. 30, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education. 

T1 Bulletin American Home Economics Association, October, 1927. 

"For further discussion of the training of leaders, see Chs. XII, XIII, 
and XIV. 


of education it has been possible for various colleges to undertake 
the training of leaders in child development and parent education. 
Various institutes of child welfare research have been established 
in schools and universities through the generosity of the Laura 
Spelman Rockefeller Memorial. The Merrill-Palmer School of 
Homemaking in Detroit, Teacher's College of Columbia University 
in cooperation with the Child Study Association of America, and 
the Child Welfare Institutes in the Universities of Iowa and Minne- 
sota are now training many of the leaders in parental education. 
These institutions also provide centers for various phases of 
research in child development. Among other significant research 
training centers are Cornell, Yale, Johns Hopkins University, the 
University of California, the University of Cincinnati, MeGill Uni- 
versity, the University of Toronto, and the Washington Child Re- 
search Center recently (1928) established in Washington, D ; (!, 


Although present-day nursery-school and parental education 
appears to have developed through many and varied sources, the 
most significant of the contributing factors may be summarized 
briefly : 

1. The movement in preschool and parental education is not 
purely modern, because the educational theory of the present i 
the outcome of the thought of leaders in education during many 

2. The nursery school and the kindergarten have a common 
origin in the early infant schools of England and the continent. 

3. The English nursery schools of the past decade, Frocbelian 
kindergartens, Montessori schools, and progressive kindergartens 
interact in the development of the modern nursery school. 

4. In the United States typical social developments which are 
merged in the nursery-school and parental education program are 
the movement for improving child health, the growth of interest 
in organized child study, closer cooperation between home and 
school, the mental hygiene movement, and the widening program 
of home economics education in state institutions. 

5. Recent programs which constitute distinct phases of the 
movement are as follows: Child-study groups organized among 


University women under the guidance of the American Associa- 
tion of University Women, the development of child-study confer- 
ences and the National Council of Parent Education initiated by 
the Child Study Association of America, the enlargement of the 
scope of home economics through the child-development program of 
the American Home Economics Association, the awarding of fellow- 
ships in child development and parental education in ordet that 
leaders might be trained, and the establishment of child welfare 
research institutes in various educational centers of the country. 

6. Nursery schools as developed have many common objectives, 
but still somewhat varied purposes. Very few nursery schools in the 
United States are philanthropic in purpose. Practically all aim 
f-o serve as a supplement to, rather than as a substitute for, the 

7. Typical among the main objects of modern nursery schools 
are: to provide opportunities for controlled research, to establish 
experimental laboratories for the study of educational methods, 
to furnish facilities for training preschool teachers, to provide for 
the cultural and general training of college women, to train teachers 
of home economics, to demonstrate best methods of child care, to 
permit parents to participate in the group care of little children, 
and to train junior and senior high-school students. 

The Play School for Habit Training of the North Bennett 
Street Industrial School, the nursery school for crippled children 
at Bainbow Hospital, the Montessori nursery schools of the Child 
Education Foundation, and the Guidance Nursery at Yale are 
Interesting instances of more or less specialized types of nursery- 
school undertakings. 



The purpose of education in its broadest sense is the providing 
of a suitable environment for the complete development and growth 
of children. This implies that education begins at birth, for growth, 
from that moment on, may be affected by the environment. Such a 
conception of education also means that the first six years of a 
child's life, the preschool years, are particularly significant be- 
cause of the important development which is taking place and the 
influence upon later years of the growth during these years. 

This statement does not imply that the years from six on are 
unimportant educationally. Neither does an emphasis upon the 
significance of the learnings which take place during preschool 
years mean that nothing is added or gained later. It is true that 
"none but a fanatic could go so far as to say 'Give me the child 
until he is seven and I care not who has him afterward.' On the 
contrary, we arc deeply concerned as to who has him afterwards, 
and rightly so, as experience proves that the child can be modified 
for bettor or worse in all succeeding periods. ' ?1 


The first six ycrs of a child's life, though inseparably bound up 
with the nine months of prenatal growth and the later years of 
childhood and adulthood, may be conveniently taken as a unit 
for study and consideration. At the sixth year, the appearance 
of the first molar is a landmark of biological significance, while 
formal entrance into the first grade makes it an important age 

From a developmental standpoint it has been recognized that 
these are the most important years of childhood. As one author 
puts its 

For perspective we must grant, at the outset, that the preschool 
period exceeds all other epochs in developmental importance. Tins 

* Hill, Patty Smith. "First stops in character education." Childhood 
Mduotttton, 3: 1927, 355-359. 



period occupies approximately the first seventy months of the scriptural 
allotment of seventy years only one clock hour, reckoning the entire 
span of a human life as a day. But during that hour the major por- 
tion of the total stream of development flows under the bridge. This 
statement holds true even if, with Huxley, we make life and develop- 
ment co-extensive terms. In a biological sense, at least, the first period 
of development must outrank all others in the wealth of phenomena 
displayed * 

Furthermore, the fact that the preschool period is the first 
period in a child's life gives to it the importance which comes with 
primacy. All experiences which a child has later are built upon, 
or developed from, these earlier experiences. Dr. Gesell says, ' * The 
earliest periods of development are always the periods of mos* 
rapid, most intense, and most fundamental growth. 7 ' 3 

1. Studies in Child Development 

There is no evidence of the importance of the early years of 
childhood so convincing as the recent studies which have been made 
by specialists in the various phases of child development. 

a. Physical Growth. Particularly significant are the data for 
physical growth. "The very laws of growth make these the most 
formative of all years. The younger the creature, the more rapid 
its growth When measured by percentage of increment in weight 
and height, the growth activity of the first six years is incomparably 
greater than that for any subsequent period of six years." 4 

According to the findings of Dr. Richard E. Scammon, one of 
the outstanding students of anatomy, the most active period of 
physical growth is during the ten lunar months preceding birth and 
the two years following birth. "Thus from birth until about two 
years there is a period of extremely rapid growth comparable in 
some degree with that seen in fetal life. This rapidly decreases, 
however, and from two to ton years the rate of growth is slow and 
constant, being so nearly uniform that this phase of the curve is 
almost a straight line." 5 

a Gcscll, Arnold. The Mental^ Growth of the Pre-ScJiool Child. New York: 
Macmillan, 1925- P. 4. (By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers). 
8 Ibid., p. 10. 

* Gesell, Arnold. The Pre-Sehool Child from the Standpoint of Pubhc 
Hygiene and Education. Boston: Houghton Mifflm, 1923. P. 3. 

* Scammon, Richard E. "Recent work on the physical development of 
children." Second Conference on Research in Child Development. Committee 
on Child Development, Division of Anthropology and Psychology, National 
Reseaich Council, Washington, D. C v May, 1927. P. 10. 


The fact that the early years of childhood are years of extremely 
rapid growth and that during this period there is a high suscepti- 
bility to disease infection makes preventive medicine, proper nutri- 
tion, and hygienic regime indispensable for maximal physical 

b. Mental Growth. Equally important and rapid is the mental 
growth which takes place during the first six years. The studies of 
Gesell, Watson, Baldwin, Woolley, and others point to the fact 
that the preschool years are filled with learnings. 

There is no better way of realizing the extent of mental growth 
than to compare a new-born babe with a six-year-old child. 

From his initial squirmings and unorganized movements the 
infant gradually learns to focus his eyes, to reach for an object, 
to grasp, to hold, to carry to his mouth, to shake, to throw, to build, 
to cut, to make, to sew, to hammer, to saw, to handle, and in short 
to manipulate most of the things in his own environment to his 
own satisfaction. Before school age he has grown in postural con- 
trol from a helpless infant to a sitting, crawling, walking, running, 
jumping, hopping, slapping, dancing, climbing, and sometimes 
swimming child. To his first experiences in tasting, feeling, hear- 
ing, and seeing he adds multitudes of later experiences which gradu- 
ally build for him a simple and usable understanding of most of 
the things in his environment. The knowledge which he thus accu- 
mulates will depend not only upon the number of experiences and 
the variety of objects encountered, but also upon the fullness and 
richness of those experiences. 6 

c. Language Development. During this period language de- 
velops from the initial birth cry to a large vocabulary of words. 
A recent study shows that the average vocabulary for six-year-olds 
is 2,562 words, with a range of from 1,620 to 3,340 words. 7 Other 
studies have given figures as high as 6,837 words at five years 8 

For an excellent example of this sec Arlitt, Ada Hart, Psychology of 
Infancy and Early Childhood. Now York: McGraw-Hill, 1928. Pp. 124 f 

1 Smith, Madorah Elizabeth An Investigation of the Development of tJie 
Sentence and tlw Extent of Vocabulary <t>n Young Children. Iowa City, 1926. 
(University of Iowa, Studios of Child Welfare, Vol. 3, No 5.) 

* Gorlach, Fred H. Vocabulary Studies. (Eoportod study made by Langer- 
beck), 1927. (Colorado College, Studios in Education and Psychology, No. 1). 


and 4,616 words at six. 9 From mere babbling and vocal play words, 
word combinations and sentence forms are developed step by step. 10 
"The language progress which a child makes from three years 
to five years of age is typified by his ability to use prepositions 
appropriately, his employment of descriptive words, and his tend- 
ency to deal with larger units of thought, his ability to bring 
clauses and sentences into logical relation both in imaginative and 
in practical narration. Indeed within his limits he becomes an 
entertaining raconteur, whereas four years earlier he was unable 
to articulate a single word." 11 

d. Habits. The acquisition of routine habits and of adjust- 
ments to family life and group living are also significant indica- 
tions of the developmental importance of these early years. Habits 
of feeding, of elimination, of toilet, of washing, of dressing, of 
going to bed and getting up, are well fixed by the time of school 
entrance. It is during this period that the parent-child relation- 
ship is set up. Whether it is to be one of over-dependency of child 
on parent or one of increasing independence and control for the 
child, whether there is intelligent sympathy or indulgent senti- 
mentality, will depend upon the attitudes of the parents. Whether 
there is a feeling of comfortable security or of insecurity, whether a 
love for brothers and sisters, for father and mother, or jealousy and 
antagonism, will greatly be influenced by home conditions during 
the early years. 

e. Emotional Adjustments. This is the age when anger, tan- 
trums, stubbornness, negativism, nausea, and a host of other 
mechanisms are acquired to thwart adults and overcome inhibitions 
to desires. Continual inhibitions to natural, wholesome activity by 
adults, or, on the other hand, repeated success of such methods 
of evasion by children as listed above, develop personality traits in 
these early years which arc difficult to eradicate later. 12 

"Davis, David E. Vocabulary of a Child, unpublished master's thesis, 
3927. This is a three-year study of a child with IQ. ranging from 130 to 135. 

10 Stern, William. Psychology of Early Childhood up to the JSixth Year. 
JSTew York: Holt, revised edition, 19134. Pp. 172 ff. 

" ftesell. Op. ctt., p. 221 

a Arhtt. Op. cvt., pp. 90-93. 


On the basis of a very few fears at birth, 13 fears rapidly multi- 
ply during the preschool years. "The preschool period is of all 
periods the most prolific for fear." 1 * Although many of these fears 
may be inconsequential and soon pass away, they often indicate a 
definite trend of personality which will take intelligent guidance 
to save from serious handicaps for wholesome living 15 

This is the time also of earliest experiences in matters of such 
biological and social importance as sex. The early curiosity and 
investigations of the organs of the body, the introduction to the 
phenomena of birth of animals and of babies, make this an im- 
portant period for building wholesome attitudes and correct in- 
formation about reproduction and sex. 16 

The studies of the behavior of children during the first 72 
months of life give a wonderful picture of rapid learning and 
manifold activity. They are convincing evidence of the fact 
"that the preschool period exceeds all others in developmental 
importance. " 



During the preschool years so pregnant with learning, the life 
of the child is entirely in the control of his parents. Born with 
a certain inherited make-up, what the child becomes within the 
limits imposed by inheritance is dependent not only upon the love 
and affection, but also upon the intelligence and understanding 
of those adults whose responsibility it is to guide him. If the 
family delegates this care of the child to servants, to day-nursery 
matrons, to nursery-school specialists, to kindergarten teachers, for 
nil 01* any part, of the day, the responsibility still rests on the 
shoulders of the parents who do the delegating. 

1. Home Environment 

a Home Atmosphere. The home environment has a great in- 
fluence on child life in its general atmosphere as well as its equip- 

"<Tohn B. Watson in PayoJioloffy from tlio Standpoint of a, Bchaviorist 
states that m observing babies two situations brought forth fear during the 
first dnya af tei birth : a loud noise and removal of support. 

"Ciosoll. Op. cit., pp. 229-230. 

"Arlitt. Op. cit., pp. 82-95. 

10 For more complote discussion see Parents and Sex Education by Benja- 
min C Oruenborg* New York: American Social Hygiene Association, 1923. 
Pp. vi, 100. 


ment. The underlying conception of the purpose of the home 
worked out consciously or unconsciously by the homemakers deter- 
mines in large part what the home will be. The relationship be- 
tween parents is fundamental: whether they have a unified pur- 
pose toward which they are working; whether there is respect for 
the contribution which each has to make, for the opinions and 
desires of each other, for the inalienable right of each to live life 
fully and richly; or whether there is lack of unified purposing, 
domination, callousness to other's desires, continual strivings and 
absence of wholesome adjustments. "An inarticulate conflict be- 
tween parents, and between interests of child and adults, may 
express itself in sickness, nervous disorders, temper, running away, 
stealing, assaulting, setting fires and other acts of a criminal nature 
in young children." 17 

The parents who can work out an equitable arrangement with 
each other usually have the right attitudes toward their children. - 
The same principles of human relationships which apply between 
husband and wife apply also to parents and children. The parent 
who conceives his function in regard to his children to be that of 
a wise guide who protects when necessary, gives help where it is 
needed, but looks forward to the complete emancipation and free- 
dom of his followers as quickly as independencies can be gradually 
and intelligently established, builds up a home which will bear fruit 
in strong, wholesome children. "In the true ' democratic ' family, 
the family where biological requirements of each member are under- 
stood, there is neither delinquency nor conflict. There is balance, 
an interaction of forces, a 'peace between equals.' " 1S 

6. Home equipment. In the selection and furnishing of the, 
home, the parents have an opportunity to put there such things 
as will be stimulating or which will be inhibiting to child growth. 
Whether the home shall be in a house or in an apartment, the 
amount of space indoors and out which is available for child play 
and child use, sunlight, ventilation, heating, all arc questions whih 
many parents might decide differently if they had a better under- 
standing of child welfare. The selection of furnishings for cultural, 
aesthetic, or useful purposes also determines the early influences 

lT Van Waters, Miriam. Youth m Conflict. New York: Eepublic, 1925. 
P. 75. 

!&., p. 86. 


of this nature which shall come into a child's life. Finally, the 
playthings, the materials for motor activity, creative expression, 
dramatic play, and informative experiencing are the selection of 
parents, and much of the daily activity as well as the emotional 
poise of the preschool child will depend upon their basis of selection 
of his playthings. 

2. Physical Development and Bodily Habits 

During these early years, the mother is responsible for the 
physical development and bodily habits of her child, whether this 
be due to his nutritional conditions, his sleep habits, his habits of 
elimination, his cleanliness, the clothes he wears, or the regularity 
of his daily regime and his bodily habits. 

3. Self-Service Habits 

It is to parents also that we must look for the building of cer- 
tain self-service habits, such as washing, dressing, caring for toys, 
helping in housekeeping tasks, and taking care of oneself on the 
street. These activities are filled with interest and joy to a little 
child. The parent who satisfies this interest by giving adequate 
opportunity and guidance in doing such self-service acts makes a 
genuine contribution to her child's development in motor control, 
independence, and cooperation. "The degree of general motor 
ability a child has depends in large measure upon how many things 
he has boon allowed to do at home. The wise mother allows the 
two-year-old to pull off his own clothes, to try to put them on, 
even though they go on backward and upside down, to feed himself, 
even though he does some spilling, or occasionally breaks a dish." 19 

4. Activities of Children 

Another way in which parents influence the development of 
young children is through their control of what children do. The 
daily r6gimc, so important to physical and mental health, is planned 
by the mother, Even play activities in the home and the home play- 
ground are often determined not only by the space and playthings 

"Woolley, Helen T. "Before your child goos to school." Children, The 
" '" for Parents, 1: 1926, 8. 


but also by the emotional make-up of parents. A nervous, fidgety 
mother who can't stand noise or who is full of fears of what may 
happen to her children; a mother who considers a spic-and-span 
house of more value than child activity ; a father who wants quiet 
and must not be disturbed ; these are only some of the types which, 
through their inhibition of child activity, are interfering with 
wholesome development. Moreover, where a child goes, the kinds of 
excursions he has outside of the home, the companions he plays 
with, and the conversation he takes part in are all experiences 
affecting his development which are controlled by his parents. 

5. Language Habits 

Educators have long realized that a child's language habits 
his grammar, his vocabulary, his pronunciation, and perhaps even 
the pitch and timbre of his voice are largely set in his home. "The 

language learned first is the language learned best The 

child carries through life not only the language of the group in 
which he is reared, but also, to a certain extent, the language of 
the individual who cares for him most constantly through the first 
years of life. If this person is his mother, he is likely to have the 
accent of his mother. If it is someone else, than her dialectic sounds 
will color it. It is very important, therefore, that the first nurse, 
or the first person to handle the child, should be selected to a certain 
extent from the point of view o purity of accent." 110 

" Children learn words not by instinct, or by mere growth, but 
by being talked to and read to, by having new experiences which 
demand the learning of new words, by being encouraged and stimu- 
lated to express themselves. Very little children who live in a 
silent adult atmosphere, who are laughed at when they talk, who are 
suppressed and made to keep silent a great deal, who are not. read 
to early, are at a disadvantage in learning words. Most children 
could learn, easily and with joy, more words than they do before 
they enter school. 21 

6. Emotional Development and Personality Traits 
Even more significant is the influence which the home and par- 
ents have upon the emotional development of children. Most of 

"Blimton, Smiley, and Blanton, Margaret Gray. Child Guidance, New 
Vork: Century, 1927. P. OR. 
3X Woolle* y. Op. cit., p. 


the fears which interfere with normal adjustment to life are built 
up during these early years. Dr. Watson has shown by experiments 
with infants how easily fears may be acquired upon the basis of 
the two situations which cause a fear response at birth : a sudden 
loud noise, and removal of support. 22 

During this period also children are learning how to adjust 
themselves to necessary obstructions to their desires or learning 
to use the instinctive response of anger in order to remove the 
obstruction and thus get what they want. It is then that temper 
tantrums are seized upon as a means to gain desired ends and 
become fast fixed in personality if they are successful. 

Important also is the influence of parents on the affective life 
of preschool children. Children readily learn to respect, to have 
confidence in, to seek sympathy from, to want affection from, 
parents who love wisely. Unwise parents may, on the other hand, 
by too much display of affection, by unwholesome yearning, develop 
a child who has no independence, who cannot be content with 
other people, who cannot live happily with children of his own 
age, who, in short, is "tied to his mother's apron strings" not only 
for childhood but for life. Another home may be lacking in affec- 
tion and sympathy to such an extent that habits of self-abuse, 
feelings of inferiority, resentments, and jealousy may become a 
dominating part of a child's personality. 

At this time in a child's life he seems particularly susceptible 
to influences on his developing emotional make-up. Likes and dis- 
likes, prejudices for and against things, persons, and ideas subtly 
become part of a child's character through living with parents 
with similar likes and dislikes 23 Such fundamental traits as atti- 
tudes toward problems which he meets, toward authority of parents 
or community or ideas, toward reality itself, have their beginnings 
in the experiences which a child has in his home during the pre- 
school years. 

7. Social-Moral Development 

The beginnings of one's attitudes toward others, of the recogni- 
tion of mine and thine, of the respect for other people's rights and 

** Watson, John B. Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist. 
Philadelphia: Llppincott, revised edition, 1924. Pp. 231-236 

"Gruonberg, Sidonie M. "Twigs of prejudice." Survey Graphic, 9: 
1926, 586-588. 


privileges, are made in the preschool years. It is in the home, in 
his living with mother, father, brother, and sister, that he gets his 
first lessons in give and take, live and let live "His conceptions 
of truth and falsehood, of possession and non-possession, of the real 
and the imaginary, all have their inception in the first few years. 
He gets a set which is a large element in determining whether he 
is to he fundamentally truthful, fundamentally honest, and capable 
of facing and dealing with reality, even when it is unpleasant. It 
is the atmosphere of the adults about him, their own ability to deal 
successfully with reality, which has the most profound effect upon 
the little child." 24 

It is true that all of these adjustments which we classify as 
social adaptations are very complex habits which mature only with 
age and manifold experiences. 25 But if right beginnings are made 
in the home during the preschool years, positive foundations will 
be laid, and much re-educating may be avoided. 

Parents, then, have a large share in the preschool development 
of children through the home environment, the physical hygiene 
regime, the activities of children, the opportunities for the estab- 
lishment of self-service and langiiage habits, and the influences on 
emotional and social-moral development. It must be recognized 
that often the parents are unconscious of the influences they exert 
on the growth of their children. They do not realize the significance 
of the things they do nor their bearing on the character of their 


If parents have such a fundamental part in influencing the 
development of children, it is essential that we know how well 
they arc meeting these responsibilities. During the past ten years 
there have been many surveys and studies which give a picture of 
the situation. Outstanding among such studies are the conclusions 
of certain health surveys. 

Helen T. "The social consequences of the neglect of mental 
hygiene in young childhood." Hospital Social Service, 11: 1925, 9. 

"Judd, Chailcs II. "Early emotions and early reactions as related to 
mature character." Childhood Education, 3: 1927, 348-354. 


1. Health Surveys 

a. Mortality. It is almost unnecessary to mention the great 
mortality in these early years. Over one third of all the deaths in 
the United States occur below the age of six years. Ten times as 
many deaths occur in the first half decade of life as in the full 
decade from five to fifteen years 26 Many of these deaths are due 
to the fact that the human body increases its resistance to infection 
with age : ' c the younger the patient, the worse the prognosis in all 
the diseases of childhood." 27 

&. Physical Defects. For the children who live, there is less 
than fifty percent chance that they will complete the preschool 
years sound in body. A report of a study of 1,027 children under 
school age in New York City showed that only 481 were normal ; 
200 had teeth defects only, and 458 had other defects. 28 The 
defects found were : 

Defective vision 5 

Defective hearing 3 

Defective teeth 212 

Defective nasal breathing 141 

Hypcrtrophied tonsils 199 

Malnutrition 215 

Cardiac affections 12 

Pulmonary disease 6 

Orthopaedic affections 32 

Nervous affections 9 

Hernia 3 

In a later study (1921) of 1,061 children, of preschool age, 33 3 
percent were found to be normal, 25.2 percent with teeth defects 
only, and 41.5 percent with other defects requiring treatment, such 
as hypertrophicd tonsils, defective nasal breathing, malnutrition, 
pulmonary disease, organic cardiac, and orthopaedic defects. 29 

Even more telling are the findings of a study of the physical 
status of 3,125 preschool children in a typical American industrial 
center, 80 in which over 60 percent of the children had foreign- 

^Gesoll, Arnold. The Pre-School Child from the Standpoint of Public 
Hygiene and JSduoation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1923. P. 4. 

** Z5uZ., p. 6. See also Baker, S, Josephine. Child Hygiene. Now York: 
Harper, 1925. P. 257. 

* Baker, S. Josephine, Op. oit. f p. 225. 

* Ibid., pp. 255-256. 

* Rude, A. E. Physical Status of Preschool Children, Gary, Ind. Wash- 
ington, D. 0., 1924. Children's Bureau, XT. S. Department of Labor, Publica- 
tion No. 11. 


born white mothers, and in which only 149 children were found 
without defects. The diseases or defects of the other 95.2 percent 
were as follows: 


Underweight 303 

Anemia 243 

Head 151 

Eyes 890* 

Ears 2951 

Mouth 2,091 

Naso-Pharynx 2,159 

Glands 908 

Heart 99 

Lungs 3 2 

Skin 318 

Abdomen 4^4 

Bony and muscular system 1,308 

Nervous system 75 

Genitalia 7^9 

* 1,081 children were not tested. 

t 1,279 childien were not tested. 

There was an average of 4.2 defects per child. This average in- 
creased steadily for the various age groups. Two-year-olds had 
on an average 2.7 defects, whereas six-year-olds had 5 defects. 
Conversely, the proportion of children having no defects decreased 
from 15.11 percent at the two-year level to 03 percent at the 
six-year level. 31 

The most conspicuous single defect in the entire group was 
carious teeth 

Almost 15 percent of all the children examined had defects 
which were the result of rickets, yet rickets is considered to be a 
disease of infancy and its symptoms readily disappear under proper 
hygienic and dietary care. It is safe to conclude that the proper 
corrective measures of diet, hygiene, and environment had been 
applied to relatively few of these preschool children. "This con- 
clusion is perhaps further substantiated by the fact that these 
defects showed no tendency to diminish, even in the older children, 
but increased steadily. Mnz 

o. Nutrition. Many surveys have been made of the nutritional 
condition of school children by means of physical and medical ex- 

81 Rude. Op. tit., p. 30. 
M Ibid., pp. 58-59. 


animations, as well as through dietary studies. 83 They have all 
revealed a large percent of undernourished school children. Fewer 
studies have been made of children before school age, but all of 
those available give similar evidence. In the two studies we have 
quoted from Dr. Baker, approximately one fifth of each group of 
children were suffering from malnutrition. The most striking evi- 
dence of the need for better nutritional care of preschool children 
is to be found in the study of 6,015 children between the ages of 
two and seven in Gary, Indiana. 34 This study was made in coopera- 
tion with the study of " The Physical Status of Preschool Children" 
by Dr. Rude, already cited. In addition to the medical examina- 
tions given to 3,125 of the children, a visit was made by a trained 
worker to the home of every child between the ages of two and 
six years. Information was thus obtained concerning diet, hygiene, 
and the general living conditions of each child. Only 18.6 percent 
were found to have excellent nutrition. Nine and seven-tenths 
percent were 10 percent or more underweight, and 7.8 percent 
were plainly anemic. 

Dr. Roberts calls particular attention to those physical defects 
most closely related to nutrition, such as defects of bony or muscu- 
lar system (41 8 percent), defects of rachitic origin (14.9 percent), 
postural defects (25.4 percent), decayed teeth (64.7 percent), mal- 
occluding teeth (11 percent), nasopharyngeal defects (69 percent), 
defective tonsils (52 per.ccnt), and adenoids (33.6 percent). 

But the most outstanding evidence of the need of nutritional 
care was furnished by the diets of the children. A large majority 
of the children were not being given food that constituted an ade- 
quate diet for normal growth. There were, in fact, not 10 percent 
of all the six thousand children who had an adequate diet. Two- 
thirds of them had diets lacking in one or more essentials. Over 
half the children had no milk to drink, while only 18 9 percent were 
getting the pint of milk which is almost universally recommended 
as the desirable minimum. Other essential foods, such as fruits, 
vegetables, and eggs were lacking in over 50 percent of the cases 

** For a summarizing table of 33 such studies see Eoberts, Lydia. Nutrition 
Work with Children. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1927. Pp. 8-9. 

"Roberts, Lydia Children of PreseJtool Age in Qwry, Indiana, Part II. 
Diet of the Children. Washington, IX C., 1925. Children's Bureau, IT. S. De- 
partment of Labor, Publication No. 322 An excellent summary of this study 
will be found in Roberts' Nutrition Work with Children, pp. 328-330, 


(60.1 percent had no fruits ; 59 5 percent had no eggs ; 50 4 percent 
had no vegetables). Nearly as large a number (45.5 percent) 
lacked as many as four of the foods usually included in a child's 
diet milk, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, fruit, cereal, meat.' 735 

It was also found that the general regime of the family and 
habits of the children were "very poor" in a large number of cases. 
Failure to get proper sleep at night and day-time naps was evident 
among most of the children. Irregularity of meals, eating between 
meals, no breakfast or lunch, were all factors found in many cases 
which probably contributed to the poor nutritional status of the 

The figures from even the higher-income groups showed high 
percentages of poor diets, physical defects, and other indications 
of the need of better care. "No studies of similar size have been 
made on young children, but numerous smaller ones made in dif- 
ferent localities and of various income groups bring additional 
evidence, as does the testimony of all workers in touch with chil- 
dren of these years, that the needs of the preschool years for nutri- 
tional betterment are indeed great, as judged by diets, hygiene, and 
physical findings. 7 ' 36 

Summaries of similar studies might be multiplied, but enough 
have been given to indicate the failure of parents, either because 
of ignorance or neglect, to provide adequate conditions for healthy 
physical growth and development. The figures certainly show the 
need for educating parents in methods of hygiene in order that 
children may not so early in life become handicapped because of 

The home, then, through the provisions it offers for sunlight, 
fresh air, cleanliness, food, elimination, exercise, and rest will deter- 
mine in large measure the physical well-being and growth of the 
child during the first six years. 

2. Reports from Behavior Clinics 

Probably the most significant information in regard to the 
importance of early childhood and the failure of home and parents 

w Roberts, Lydia A. Nutrition Work with Children. Chicago : University 
of Chicago Press, 1927. Pp 329-330. 
I&*dL, p. 330. 


to provide proper, conditions for the welfare of their young chil- 
dren comes from the studies made of problem children in psychi- 
atric and psychological clinics. Most of the published case studies 
from these clinics have had to do with children of school age. This 
is probably due to the fact that the misbehavior of children as they 
get older comes to be a nuisance and a danger to the community and 
society. Parents will often suffer as long as the misconduct affects 
no one outside of the home. 

As a result of experience in the Child Guidance Clinic of New 
York City, Dr. Kenworthy writes: "We must always remember 
that the problem of the child may be due largely to the nature of 
his reaction to an unintelligent home situation, and that his nervous 
manifestations may be an attempt to adapt himself to his environ- 
ment." 37 Therefore, while it is of prime importance in treating 
the case to help the child to better and more wholesome adaptation 
to the realities of life, it is only second in importance to educate 
the parents of the child. "They must be made to realize that in 
order to train the child, they must first < train themselves, for, from 
the point of view of social psychiatry, education involves every 
member of the immediate household. They must be made to realize 
that their personal sentiments may seriously hamper the child's 
development, inasmuch as they are bound to fail to hold an objec- 
tive, impersonal point of view in meeting the issues in the child's 
everyday life if they make decisions based upon their subjective 
feeling rather than upon objective reasoning.' 788 

Although the ease studies published by the Judge Baker Foun- 
dation 39 deal with adolescent and preadolescent children, they may 
be cited hero because they show in a vivid way the influence of 
home and family, and particularly of parents, on the behavior of 
children. Delinquencies of fifteen of the nineteen cases available 
for consideration in this Yearbook were due in some degree to 
home influences. 

Other causes directly related to home conditions which con- 
tributed to delinquencies in the various cases studied were lack of 

OT Kenworthy, Marion E. * ' Extra-medical service in the management of 
misconduct problems m children." Mental Hygiene, 5: 1921, 724-785. Re- 
printed by the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. 

Ibid,, pp. 9-10. 

** J '\idge JBaker Foundation Case Studies. Boston: Judge Baker Founda- 
tion. (This is a series of twenty case studies, each published in pamphlet form.) 


confidences between parents and children, unattraetiveness of home, 
lack of home-like atmosphere, inadequate family control, poor ex- 
ample of mother, father, brother, or sister, maladjustments in the 
interrelationship of members of the family. 

"Where children of preschool age are taken in the clinic, the 
reports deal much more with the work with parents than with 
children. It probably could be said of more than one case that the 
mother brought a child to the clinic when the child should have 
brought the mother. 40 "In the treatment of a problem child in- 
variably the mother has to be considered as a patient, and it is 
frequently desirable for her to make visits to the clinic even with- 
out the patient. It has also been found that often it is not the 
child that has been brought to the clinic who needs treatment most, 
but one of the other children in the family, so that three or four 
members of the same family may be receiving treatment at the 
same time, and in every case the benefits derived by straightening 
out some maladjusted individual are shared by every member of the 
household," 41 

And again, "The home must be considered the workshop in 
which the personality of the child is being developed, and the per- 
sonalities o the parents will make up, to a very largo extent, the 
mental atmosphere in which the child has to live. This mental 
atmosphere may easily become contaminated and quite as danger- 
ous to the mental life of the child as scarlet fever or diphtheria 
would be to hLs physical well-being. Faulty habits are invariably 
due to the imitation of bad examples. Yet one is qiiite safe in 
saying that the imitation of the bad example is frequently not 
so dangerous to the child's mental life as the way in which the 
indiscretion is treated by the parent." 42 

3. Studies of School Failures and Behavior Problems 

A searchlight has been thrown upon the inadequacies of homos 
and parents by the studies which have been made of children who 
were failing in academic work in school. One of the earliest studies 

40 Thorn, D. A. Habit Clvnics for tUc Child of Preschool Age, Washington, 
D. C., 1924. Children's Bureau, IT. S. Department of Labor, Publication No. 
135. P. 16. 

I&t<Z., p. 3. 

43 Ibid., p. 15. 


was made of sixteen children who had failed in the first grade 
from one to three times. These children were put in an observation 
class for three years in order that the causes underlying their 
failures might be studied. In nine of the cases the dominant cause 
of their difficulty was found to lie directly in home conditions. 
"They had been absent too much, had moved about, or had lived 
in home conditions so bad and so distracting that it was impossible 
to do normal school work." 43 

The evidence from a more recent study is even more striking. 44 
Of 46 children in a public school who were reported by parents and 
teachers as difficult, 35 were having trouble in keeping up in 
one or more subjects. Mental retardation accounted for only 16 ; 
the remaining 19 were found to have certain personality difficulties 
such as shyness, laziness, inattention, vicious tendencies, sensitive- 
ness to criticism, day dreaming, and fears The other 11 who had 
behavior difficulties but were not failing in school were found to 
have such problems as temper tantrums, sullenness, crying spells, 
twitching, indifference, excitability, quarrelsomeness, and poor 
hand coordination. The author states that "in practically every 
case the peculiar characteristics for which the child was referred 
could be easily traced to their first appearance in the early years 
of school kindergarten and first and second grades. In the ma- 
jority of cases, also, the unhealthy habits of adaptation began in 
the home, and were carried into and through the school life." 45 

Two of the most interesting and perhaps the most widely known 
publications of case studies of failing or maladjusted school children 
were the outcome of the five-year program of the Joint Committee 
for the Prevention of Delinquency. 46 

In the first publication, Three Problem Children, the main diffi- 
culties of two of the three cases reported could be directly traced 
to home situations. Much of the remedial work consisted in chang- 

**Woolley, H. T., and Ferris, Elizabeth. Diagnosis and Treatment of 
Young School Failures. Washington, D C., 1923. Bureau of Education, IT. S. 
Department of the Interior, Bulletin No 1. P. 8. 

44 Richards, E. L. Mental Hygiene, 4: 1920, 331-333. 

** Richards, E. L. "The elementary school and the individual child." 
Mental Hygiene, 5: 1921, 707-723 Reprinted by The National Committee on 
Mental Hygiene. 

"Sayloa, Mary B. The Problem CUld vn, School. New York: The Com- 
monwealth Fund, 1927. 288 pp. Three Problem Children. New York Joint 
Committee on Methods of Preventing Delinquency, 1926. Pp. viii, 142. 


ing home conditions through gradual education of the parents, 
usually the mother only. 

In the second publication, The Problem Child in School, we 
have a report of twenty-six cases of failing and maladjusted school 
children who had come under the supervision of the visiting teacher. 
The cases are grouped into four groups designating the major 
causes of their difficulties (parental attitudes, feelings of inferi- 
ority, honesty, sex) and a fifth group of four cases representing 
diverse issues. It is worth noting that of the twenty-one cases not 
listed under parental attitudes, there were fifteen where the per- 
sonal difficulties were definitely allied to home conditions and 
parental attitudes. 

One is constantly struck by the fact that parents through 
selfishness as well as ignorance are handicapping their children 
for normal, wholesome participation in group living. Dr. Ken- 
worthy, in analyzing the causes which underlie the development 
of feelings of inferiority, traces" two of the four to the home : in- 
ability to rise to the level of the family's aspirations and unfavor- 
able comparison with others in the family, especially with brothers 
or sisters. 47 Three of the six children described under the section 
devoted to" feelings of inferiority were unable to come up to the 
standards set by their families, and in two other cases the un- 
favorable comparison with brothers or sisters was an important 

One of the cases under "diverse issues" was considered by the prin- 
cipal of the school to be due to neglect at home and an indifferent 
mother. "The Arnold family as a whole will be recognized by social 
workers as one of a very difficult type with which they are often called 
upon to deal. Such parents, neither poor enough to be dependent nor 
cruel and neglectful enough to be counted delinquent, but so ignorant as 
to bring upon their offspring most of the end- results of both dependency 
and delinquency, are obviously m need of the highest type of educa- 
tional service that the most thoroughly equipped family or child welfare 
agency can offer."** 

The author of the book brings out the fact that there was one com- 
mon weakness in the families of the five children who stole. In each 
case the father was worthless, characterized by such traits as insanity, 

4T Kcnworthy, Manon E "The logic of delinquency/' Paper* and Pro- 
ceedings of the American Sociological Society, 16. Beferred to in 
Child in School. 

41 Sayles. Op. tit., p. 134. 


dissipation, desertion, and so forth. Whether this fact is in any way 
related to the misdemeanors of the children cannot be stated, of course, 
but it is worth consideration for those who are concerned with the in- 
fluence of parents on child behavior. 

In discussing the case of a girl who lied, it is stated that "imitation 

of a mother given to the spinning of wild yarns may well account for 

the first beginnings of fabricating . . . and whatever a loved mother 

does is in these early formative years likely to be taken as a model." 48 

The pictures of failure, unhappiness, and asocial acts which 

* these two books flash upon the screen are undeniable evidence of 

the inability of parents adequately to educate children in the home. 

In other words, the real problem which confronts the school is that 

of reeducating parents and children. ' ' Though workers in the school 

may do much for unadjusted children, it is only when home and 

school work together that the best results are to be looked for." 50 

Thus do psychologists, psychiatrists, and visiting teachers force 

us to see that responsibility for the behavior of school children rests 

largely upon parents and early home experiences. 

4. Juvenile -Court Data 

Another source for securing data on home influences and early 
education is in the analysis of delinquent children who come before 
juvenile courts. Such juvenile courts as those in Denver, Chicago, 
Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles have been attempting to study 
each delinquent boy or girl not only with respect to the present 
situation and the immediate cause of delinquency, but also with 
respect to more remote causes. Over and over again these case 
studies show that early home experiences during the preschool years 
of the boy or girl have had great effect. 

In a group of selected cases where mental conflict was the cause 
of misconduct 51 the difficulty in many cases was closely tied up to 
the family situation. Such conditions as unknown parentage, 
failure to give proper education as to sex matters, lying and mis- 
representation to children by older people, especially by parents, 
and use of profane or suggestive language in the home were often 
found to be either direct or contributing causes to the mental dis- 
turbance underlying delinquent behavior. 

p. 169. 
p. 149. 

*Healy, William. Mental Conflicts and Mwconduet. Boston: Little, 
Brown, 1917. Pp. xii, 330. 


But more significant than any of these, says the author, is the 
lack of close, sympathetic, confidential relationship between parents 
and child. "Environmental circumstances in our cases are most 
diverse. The histories show misdoers coming from all classes and 
conditions of society. There is one common feature, however, that 
belongs to what may be termed the psychical environment. These 
misdoers with mental conflicts never had anyone near to them, par- 
ticularly in family life, who supplied opportunities for sympathetic 
confidences. Repression has gone on very largely as the result of 
this need/' 52 

Healy also emphasizes the importance of early experience in a 
child's life when investigating mental conflicts. "We are bound,' 7 
he says, "to contemplate the mental life of early years, not because 
of a priori considerations, but through being led back, step by step, 
to influences active then. We sometimes find a very direct route 
leading from emotion-provoking experiences and reactions of 
childhood to even major offenses of adult life." 53 The very early 
roots of sexual life in the individual may be in early childhood 
and carry with them important psychological as well as social 
implications. 54 

A similiar picture of the inadequacies of the home life of 
juvenile delinquents is to be seen in the publications of Dr. Miriam 
Van Waters, referee of the Juvenile Court in Los Angeles. 55 "In 
three generations of American family life the goal has changed 
from rearing healthy, active children to goals of modern business. 
Children are prematurely encased in brick and stone. Routine is 
dull, monotonous. Need for adventure is not met. These boys and 
girls become incorrigible, steal, lie, run away, throw morals over- 
board. The treatment is extraordinarily difficult because there is 
seemingly no way of changing the habits and ideas of adults who 
control them. " 5e 

The studies of juvenile delinquents made by Van Waters evi- 
dence not only the significance of present home conditions but also 

, p. 321. 
, pp. 17-18. 
, p. 30. 

w Van Waters, Miriam. Youth in Conflict. New York: Republic, 1925. 
Pp. sax, 212. Also Parents on Probation. Now York: Republic, 1927. Pp. 
xv, 333. * 

w Van Waters. Youth vn Confliot, p. 59. 


the influence which parents may have during the first years of child 
life. Remedial work is found to be much more effective with young 
children. "The fact of the matter is that as we study juvenile 
delinquency more, we are inclined to believe that success is in 
inverse ratio to age. The longer the process of conflict in the 
child has been going on with parents, school, and community, the 
deeper the hurt, the more tenacious the habits of defense. What 
we learn of capacity for suffering in very young children teaches 
us that they are injured far more than perhaps we understand in 
homes, schools, and neighborhoods that neglect, misuse, or fail 
to love or to discipline adequately." 57 

Such are the conclusions of those who have analyzed with 
scientific thoroughness the emotional conflicts, the anti-social be- 
havior, the loves and hates, the futile strivings of those boys and 
girls who must turn to the court for guidance and help. Two hun- 
dred thousand of these youths under 18 years of age passed through 
the juvenile courts of the United States in 1923. 58 A vast pro- 
cession of misguided, misshapen, tangled lives in need of the in- 
telligent guidance and wise sympathy which a home should give 
best, but which society must give somehow. 


From the preceding discussion it is evident that the education 
and care of children before school age has not been adequate. There 
seem to be three different attacks by which the situation may be 

1. Economic-Social Conditions 

The first attack is through improving economic and social con- 
ditions. There is a vast number of children who are handicapped 
by inadequate family income. Such social measures as mothers' 
pensions, legal minimum wage, and extra wages for dependents are 
efforts to meet this situation. 59 

The housing conditions in thickly-populated districts greatly 
affect the welfare of the adults but more especially of the young 

* Ibid., pp. 175-176. 
"!&*&, p. 176. 

"Forest, Use. Preschool Education. New York: MacmiUan, 1927. Pp. 


children Space and sanitation are the sine qua non of modern 
physical and mental hygiene. The situation today in metropolitan 
areas demands experimentation in multiple dwellings with child 
needs as a basic consideration. 60 

2 Supplementary Agencies 

The second attack on the present condition of childhood is the 
development, extension, and improvement of social and educational 
agencies which supplement the home. Maternity and infant- 
welfare centers, mental and physical hygiene clinics, child-health 
centers, day nurseries, nursery schools, and kindergartens are some 
of the agencies which are supplementing home care to-day. 

3. Parental Ediication 

The third attack, and the one fundamental to both of the other 
two, is the education of parents "The community, then, examin- 
ing the child at the close of his preschool years and finding him 
wanting, may consistently lay the responsibility for this lack at the 
door of the home; it may further demand that the home remedy 
this situation, just as the home has already been stimulated to 
improve its care and cdxication of older children." 01 

"The groat problem is to assist the home and the parent, not to 
displace them. The natural and basic agency for the educational 
mature of the preschool child is in his own home, with his own 
father, mother, brothers, sisters, and even his own grandparents. 
To make that home most effective in rearing the child for which it 
was really created is a durable social problem/ ' 2 

1. Influence on Child Development 

To-day there seems to be little doubt that being a parent is u 
job filled with grave responsibilities responsibilities to society, to 
the child, and to one's own happiness. " Scientific synthesis of 
psychology, psychiatry, medical opinion, and social service, speak- 

, pp 247-248. 
, p. 231. 

M Uo8oll, Arnold. "Preschool Development and Education." Annal* of 
the Amojican Academy, 121: 1925, 148-150. 


ing through court clinics and nursery school and bureaus of child 
guidance, now places the burden where it fundamentally belongs 
upon the home, upon the parents." 63 During the early years of 
child life the parents are mainly responsible for the development of 
the child physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. The 
foundations of growth and the beginnings of personality develop- 
ment are laid while the child is still under the guidance of the home. 

There was a time when we might have ignored the situation by 
claiming that the maternal and paternal instinct would adequately 
provide the parents with the necessary knowledge. But modern 
psychology questions decidedly the existence of any such definitely- 
organized and specific instincts. "We have observed the nursing, 
handling, bathing, etc., of the first baby of a good many mothers. 
Certainly there are no new ready-made activities appearing except 
nursing. The mother is usually as awkward about that as she can 
well be. The instinctive factors are practically mZ." 8 * 

But if there is a "maternal instinct," Helen Thompson "Woolley 
has rightly said, "it is as silly to trust the maternal instinct to bring 
up a child as to trust the acquisitive instinct to earn a living for 
the family. Instinct is at the base of all we do, but does not relieve 
us of the necessity of training." 65 

2. -Changing Social Conditions 

Even for those fortunate adults who have had a childhood in a 
well-balanced, intelligent home under the guidance of far-seeing 
parents, it is very difficult to carry over this training to their chil- 
dren. The rapid change in social conditions, in housing, in the 
mechanics of living, in customs, recreations, in social mores, which 
has taken place in the past twenty years makes a demand upon 
parents for a philosophy and methods based on to-day. The child 
of twenty years ago lived in a vastly different world, with different 
stimuli, different desires, and different behavior. "The normal 
family is dynamic ; its standards are constantly enlarging to meet 
requirements of the changing ethics of the world, and in process of 
this adjustment it carries youth along with it. New ideas of 

"Van Waters. Op. tit., p. vi. 
w Watson, John B. Op. tit., p. 278. 

** Quoted by Cleveland, Elizabeth. TraAninff ths Toddler. Philadelphia: 
Lippincott, 1925. P. 61. 


political and industrial relations, war and peace, Christian fellow- 
ship, treatment of women, crime and punishment, religious dogma, 
are discussed. Parents by vigor and clarity of thought furnish 
their children with a guiding-line." 66 

3. Increasing Knowledge 

The increasing scientific knowledge concerning child behavior 
and methods for guidance has also brought with it a demand for 
the dissemination of this knowledge to all adults who guide the 
lives of children. Progress in human happiness depends not only 
upon the accumulation of scientific facts but upon the dissemination 
of these facts as well. 

4. Inadequacy of Schools 

Finally, we cannot leave it to the schools to take entire responsi- 
bility for the education of children. In the first place, the school 
is greatly handicapped in time. During the five years preceding 
kindergarten or the six years preceding the first grade, the home is 
in complete control. During these five or six years, important 
learnings are taking place until, by the time of school entrance, the 
child has literally hundreds of habits well established. Even when 
the child is in school, he is only there three to five hours for five days 
a week, nine months a year, if he attends the best organized schools. 
During the same period, he is under the guidance of home from 
twenty-one to nineteen hours a day, seven days a week, twelve 
months a year. 

The school environment must also of necessity be limited, 
selected, and, even in the most progressive schools, somewhat formal 
because of the large groups. The environment of the home, on the 
other hand, may be as wide as life itself, with the opportunity for 
flexibility and adjustment because of its informality. 

Probably the most significant advantage which the home has 
over the school in its influence on the education of children is the 
continuity in leadership and guidance. In school the teacher 
usually remains with her class for a school year, nine months. 
Undor the platoon systems, the children during any school year may 

"Van Waters. Op. art., p. 75. 


have from four to six or seven teachers who rotate every hour dur- 
ing the school day. But during all this kaleidoscopic change in 
teachers, the same parents continue from birth to maturity as the 
guides, the interpreters, the real teachers of children. 

Such, then, is the basis of the movement for parental educations, 
the realization of the influence which parents have on the develop- 
ment of children, the inadequacy of native endowment to guide 
without training, the changing social conditions, the increasing 
scientific knowledge about children which is available, and finally, , 
the inadequacy of the schools to take the place which the home pre- 
eminently holds in the education of children. 


1. The first six years of a child's life are important years from 
the standpoint of growth and development. 

2. During this preschool period the parents and the home are 
the most influential factors in determining the environment for 
physical growth and mental development. 

3. Stirveys of present conditions show that parents have not 
been successful in meeting their responsibilities to young children. 

4. The situation may be improved by changing social conditions 
that directly affect the home, by increasing and raising the standard 
of supplementary educational agencies, but most fundamentally 
by the education of parents. 



a. Dearth of Studies of Home Education. The importance of 
the family as a social influence is generally conceded. In spite of 
this we find scant attention given to the study of the family as an 
educational institution. As a result, our knowledge, compared with 
what might rightly be expected, is hazy and inadequate. 

The home has been so hidden by privacy, so frequently described 
merely by emotionlly-pleasing generalities, that less is known of 
the actual working of this fundamental institution than of the 
others like the school and the church. 

In practice, in spite of eloquent eulogies of the home, the family 
is little recognized as a chief educational agency. This appears 
most impressively when one contrasts the amount and the precision 
of the literature relating to the teaching of the school with the 
poverty of the material that treats the home as an educational 

"b Lack of Organization of Family Instruction. The relative 
neglect comes not from the disposition to deny to the family its 
rightful prerogatives, but because the family as a teaching unit is 
not organized. If the family in its teaching activities had definite- 
ness and elaborate organization, with professional officials, various 
classifications, and pedagogic standards, it would rival the school 
consciously as it now does without the recognition it deserves. 

The lack of organization of family instruction, its haphazard 
methods and diverse standards, lead to a popular conception of 
education that so narrows its meaning that it is thought of as be- 
longing almost exclusively to the schools. For example, it is com- 
monly thought that the child starts his education when first he 
enters school and comes under the direction of a professional 
teacher. As a matter of fact, as psychological science is making 
increasingly clear, the child has had much of his education before 
he enters the conventional school often, for his happiness and 
success in life, the most important part. 



c. Importance of Home Education iHome instruction is not 
less powerful as an influence over the growing personality of the 
child "because of a general lack of appreciation by parents of its 
importance. Indifference or lack of knowledge does not change 
the fact that what comes first to the child from the older people 
about him has the first opportunity to influence him and that this 
early influence comes to most children from their parents within the 
walls of the home. 

So long as the home possesses the opportunity of first contacts, 
it maintains a teaching function at least not secondary to that 
exercised later by the schools. 

d. Increasing Recognition of Home Education. In recent edu- 
cational progress nothing is more significant or more promising 
than this clearer understanding of the large place the home has in 
the making of a child's personality. Here we find the source of 
the m<fet radical and the most influential of present-day educational 
experiments. Attention is no longer exclusively centered upon the 
school and its problems, since the child who comes to it is already 
in large measure a product of instruction. Indeed, science in its 
investigation of personality has so emphasized the past failures of 
the home on its teaching side that there has grown up among many 
familiar with the situation a pessimistic attitude regarding the 
possibilities of parents or teachers, among others a determined 
effort to improve parental behavior, and even among some a belief 
that the teaching influence of the home for the welfare of children 
nmst be lessened. 


In attempting to trace the early development of the home as a 
teaching agency, we may turn to the anthropologists for informa- 
tion concerning the family life of savages. 

i. Extent of Family Influence 

a Family Influence is Effective. Hambly and Hose 1 treat the 
education of primitive races from the broader viewpoint of tribal customs 
rather than as an activity closely related to the home. Hose tells us 
that "a great deal of the education of primitive youth was done by the 

* Hambly, W. D. T and Hose, Charles. Origins of Education Among Primi- 
tive Peoples. London: Macmillan, 1926. Pp. aoc, 431. 


way of parental example and the issuing of warnings." "Children imi- 
tate their elders," writes Hambly, and this brief statement reveals the 
effective method of family teaching. 

b. Limits of Parental Influence. In many savage tribes there are 
definite time limits beyond which the teaching influence of the family 
does not extend. "The family unit is nevertheless restricted to parents 
and children under the age of puberty For although the ties' between 
parents and children last through life, after reaching puberty the chil- 
dren enter into new relationships, which superimpose themselves on the 
former ones. These new bonds result for the girl from marriage, for 
the boy from his entering into tribal secret society, into initiation and 
life in the bachelors' camp." 3 

c. Tribal Supersedes Home Teaching -for Boys The purpose of 
education among the primitive peoples necessarily leads to an emphasis 
of tribal teaching rather than that of the home. "Hence the primary 
object of the training is a standardizing of boys, who are expected sud- 
denly to break away from the standards of childhood for the purpose 
of adopting criteria of manhood. Of these criteria obedience to tribal 
law is paramount , therefore special stress is placed upon the inculcation 
of precepts which are held to have been derived from ancestors of a 
remote period."* 

d. Importance of Mothers' Instructions With Girls. The im- 
portance of mother's instruction is greater in the case of the girl than 
that of either father or mother in the case of the boy, but even the girl 
gets more of her training from imitation of the tribal life than from 
direct home instruction. There is a general training, chiefly informal 
and physical, which prepares the girl for matrimonial duties. Her gen- 
eral education "naturally includes some reference to agricultural and 
domestic duties, which in the main appear to be learned from the 
mother, partly by direct instruction, but to a greater extent by imitative 
play, during which young girls nurse babies, make string bags or pot- 
tery, use a small hoe, assist in grinding corn, carrying water, or collect- 
ing firewood."* 

2. Meagerness of Tribal Instruction 

BrifTault in his detailed study of savage family-life reminds us that 
even tribal instruction is meager and little organized. "In most in- 
stances there is very little training in the technique of their profession 
in connection with the manhood ceremonies of primitive hunters and 
warriors ', as often as not such brief and perfunctory instruction as may 

* Quoted from Malmowski, The Family Among the Australian Aborigines, 
pp. 298-299, by Hambly, W. D., and Hose, Charles, Op. tit., p. 48. 

* Hambly, W. D., and Hose, Charles. Op. dt., pp. 195-196. (Quoted by 
permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers). 

* ttid., p. 285. 


take place follows, instead of preceding, those tests, so that the latter 
cannot be regarded m the light of a pass examination connected with 
such training. In most cases there is no instruction at all Organized 
education and training are, in all primitive societies, conspicuous by their 
absence. What the savage youth learns, the skill and proficiency he ac- 
quires, he picks up as best he can by imitation. Among the North Ameri- 
can Indians who underwent such severe tests of valour, there was not 
anywhere any regular system of training. Encouragement, advice, re- 
buke, might be freely given by elder men to boys, but of any attempt 
at systematic professional education there cannot be said to have been 
a trace. The boys, says Loskiel, are 'never obliged to do anything ; they 
loiter about, live as they please, and follow their own fancies.' Among 
the Indians of Guiana 'the boys run wild . . . they are left almost to 
themselves.' Among the tribes of South America 'parental education 
does not exist*; 'their children are taught nothing, are forbidden noth- 
ing/ In Africa, generally, 'children practically do as they like'; the 
rubric 'education* is absent from African ethnology. 'As regards edu- 
cation, both the word and the notion arc non-existent.' In Melanesia 
and in New Guinea there is absolutely no sort of training. 'Children 
were not taught any useful habit; they grew up in utter idleness and 
uncared for, except they got plenty of food* In Borneo the children 
'are left to pick up by themselves whatever knowledge is necessary/ In 
Micronesia they 'grow up as they like/ Speaking of the Australian 
initiation ceremonies, Dr. Roth remarks: 'The European idea of their 
having a beneficially moral and educational value is erroneous ' Noth- 
ing, in fact, exceeds the indifference and carelessness of uncultured 
peoples as regards any systematic educational training except the enor- 
mous importance which they attach to the testing of proficiency/'* 

3. Consequences of Lack of Training 

The practical consequences of this indifference based upon lack of 
knowledge of the needs of children come out clearly in GoodselTs sum- 
mary. "It is not difficult to account for the appalling mortality -rate 
among savages. Ignorant as they are of the merest essentials of proper 
child nurture, primitive parents cheerfully violate every principle of 
infant hygiene The advantages of cleanliness, fresh air, and suitable 
food arc ignored at every turn. Yakut babies are permitted to he in 
damp, unventilated rooms neglected for hours at a time; Thlinkeet in- 
fants are kept in a condition of filth which produces sores that scar their 
bodies for life; and Igorot children fare little better. Many tribes look 
askance at bathing; and the young suffer accordingly. Then, too, the 
food given to children is often quite beyond their powers of digestion. 
We are told that Bushwomen from the birth of their children 'feed them 

* Brlffault, Robert. The Motfwrs. Now York: Macmillan, 1927. Vol. II, 
pp. 197-199. (Quoted by permission of tho publishers.) 


with roots and meat which they chew for them. They are taught to 
chew tobacco when very young, and have scarcely any human protec- 
tion or attention whatever.' Unfortunately primitive peoples have little 
knowledge of the virtues of cow's milk as an infant diet; for even in 
tribes where cattle are domesticated and milk can be easily procured it 
is quite often not given to babies. Savage mothers, to be sure, suckle 
their children much longer than do mothers in civilized societies, the 
suckling in many instances not ceasing until the child is four years old 
But this custom makes it very difficult for the child when weaned to 
digest the coarse food eaten by adults." 6 

4. Laxness in Early Training of Children 

The same author pictures the variations and the laxness in the early 
training of the child. "Where a tribe has well-defined notions concern- 
ing sex relations, treatment of women, attitude toward parents, food 
taboos, methods of warding off evil spirits, etc., the family has the im- 
portant task of starting the education of the unformed child in the group 
way of thinking and acting in these respects But it must not be sup- 
posed that any conscious ethical aim is present in the minds of the par- 
ents. So far as they pay any attention to the moral education of their 
children, this takes the form of training them in certain habits by an 
appeal to unthinking imitation. Discipline in savage househo!4s is gen- 
erally lenient. The child is usually neither scolded nor whipped unless 
the parent falls into one of those sudden fits of uncontrollable passion 
to which primitive peoples are subject. In such cases punishment may 
be swift and cruel. Among more advanced groups, as the Pueblos of 
North America, a high value is consciously set upon obedience of elders 
and observance of moral customs This obedience, however, is not se- 
cured by corporal punishment, but by the use of weird tales told by the 
older men over the evening fire tales carefully designed to arouse 
superstitious fear in the shuddering boys and girls. 

"The part played by the mother in the moral training of her chil- 
dren varies with her status in the household and the group, . . . Sex 
antagonism and sex taboos are highly developed among some ^primitive 
peoples and have worked havoc with the mother's control of her chil- 
dren. Then, too, in those tribes where the sexes remain rigidly sepa- 
rated, little boys are taken at two or three years of age from the mother 
and brought up in the 'Men's House/ Such club-houses are common in 
the Pacific Islands and even among the Southwestern tribes of the United 
States. On the other hand, among the more civilized Iroquois and 
Wyandottes, where women were the heads of households and had no lit- 

Goodsoll, Willystinc. A History of the Family as a Social and Educa- 
tional Institution. New York: Macmillan, 1923, pp. 41-42 (Quoted by per- 
mission of the publishers.) 


tic economic and political power, the influence of the mother in shaping 
the character of her children must have been important and lasting " T 

5. Kxperience as Education 

Keller calls attention to the advantage the child has in his training 
from his more direct contact with nature and the concrete aims of the 
instruction he does receive "Lippert remarks very justly that it is not 
easy to tram our children because the motives of our precepts are, for 
the most part, beyond their perception; yet a boy will obey the lightest 
order of a skillful game-keeper or fisherman because he sees it justified 
by immediate and visible success or failure. Among the uncivilized, 
he finds, though children are generally treated with the greatest consid- 
eration and allowed the fullest liberty, and though the notion of authority 
and discipline is not yet developed, they obey willingly or, rather, follow 
the example of the parent, whose actions are mostly directed toward im- 
mediate and concrete ends. In a word, the requisite discipline, for peo- 
ple living so near to nature, is afforded by the immediate experiences of 
life. Where one of our boys cannot understand why he should study 
grammar, for example, the savage child knows by personal, immediate, 
and hard experience that disobedience to the suggestions of an older 
hunter results in loss of life or injury, or, at any rate, the escape of the 
game upon which he has hoped to feed. This explains the apparent 
paradox presented by ethnographers : that the primitive children are not 
disciplined much or at all by their elders and yet are generally obedient 
and unspoiled It is the protection from the consequences of inexpedient 
conduct that ruins a child's behavior j and in primitive life such pro- 
tection cannot be extended very far."* 


As we trace the evolution of the family from its simple organi- 
zation among primitive peoples we find an enlargement not only 
of the functions of parenthood but also of the responsibility of the 
family a a teaching unit. 

1. Adjustments of the American Family to Changing 

Social Conditions 

The American home in all its activities, including that of teach- 
ing, has shown itself sensitive to the social conditions to which it 

7 Ibid., pp. 42-43. (Quoted by permission of tho Macmillan Company, 

"Sumner, W. G., and Keller, A. G-. The Sticn&t of Society. Ivfaw Haven: 
Yale University Press, 1927. Vol. Ill, p. 1929. 


has been obliged to adjust itself. The character of instruction and 
the degree of responsibility that it has assumed for the teaching of 
the child have been a product of physical environment, including 
climate, occupation, and isolation, and of the social environment 
with its traditions and social habits. Three stages in this develop- 
ment appear prominent enough for classification : pioneering, rural, 
and urban family life. These three do not always follow a time 
sequence, but so far as dominant culture is concerned, they do 
mark three distinct periods. 

a. Pioneering Conditions Pioneering conditions determined 
for nearly all the people the teaching program of the family. Dur- 
ing this time the family was an extremely effective educational 
agency, not only the predominating, but oftentimes the exclusive 
influence for the educating of the child for life. 

Z>. Rural Conditions. Passing from the pioneering period, we 
find the majority of the people living under rural conditions. 
With the change there has come about a lessening of the obliga- 
tions of the family itself, and the progressive substitution therefor 
of the school. The power of the family is still great, as far as 
influence upon the child is concerned, and has to be reckoned as a 
teaching agency. 

c. Urban Conditions. With the advent of the city, and espe- 
cially in recent years of the metropolitan district, teeming with 
population, and enforcing upon a multitude of people its great 
congestion, appears the new era which from the start has been 
characterized by a sharp decrease in family responsibility and an 
increasing disposition on the part of the parents to delegate to 
other institutions, either from necessity or preference, many of 
the obligations that had previously been assumed by the home. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century all three types of 
family experience were being maintained, but the frontier was 
rapidly disappearing. Now the city is coming to have dominance 
not only over its own population but indirectly in considerable 
measure also over the village and rural family. 

2. Sources of Family Control 

In order to value rightly the influence of the family as an 
educational agency, it is necessary to recognize the source from 
which the family has obtained its power over the child. 


a. Family Influences Begun at Birth, Since the child, as soon 
as he commences to develop his personality, finds himself in the 
midst of a definite family, with characteristic influences that begin 
at once to construct his character, it is obvious that in the years 
of early growth the child can do little else but respond to the 
stimuli maintained about him. These first influences are so effec- 
tive that, in the opinion of some observers, much has been charged 
to heredity which may really have been a product of early 

&. Lack of Competition During Early Years. The family has 
powerfully molded the child, not merely because it was present 
at the start of his life and able to furnish him with the influences 
upon which he had to depend for the making of his personality, 
but also because being the early impressions they were simple and 
without rivalry since the child was so exclusively possessed by the 
family into which he happened to be born. Being the first im- 
pressions, simple and without competition from the outside, they 
were necessarily forceful, and in their effectiveness to shape the 
life there was ndthing later except the most extraordinary events 
that deserved comparison with them. 

3. Opportunity of the Family for Educating Children 
During human history it has fallen to the family to start the 
processes of conditioning the growing child. Quickly there has been 
grafted upon the substantial impulses of the little one a character- 
istic form of behavior, the product of parental teaching and contact. 
The trend in this country has been such as more and more to limit 
tho important instruction given by parents to their children through 
this early period. Now, although the family has lost so much in 
the proportion of its teaching function that it is seldom thought of 
as an educational agency by the unreflecting person, it still main- 
tains a dominant role in the making of personality because of its 
unrivalled opportunity during the first years to give shape to the 
growing personality. Legitimate criticism of family functioning 
is based upon this power which the family will possess just so long 
as it has the child within its intimacy during his first and most 
impressionable years. The prevailing criticism of the family's use 
of this opportunity expresses itself in a program of reform, either 


by eliminating much of the family 's opportunity to mould the child 
or by demanding that the family be made more efficient by bring- 
ing its methods into harmony with scientific principles. 


The content of the instruction of the present-day family can be 
easily classified under the four terms physical, vocational, psycho- 
logical, and social (including the moral) . 

1. Physical Education and Health 

a. Habit Formation in Early Tears. At the beginning of the 
life of the child, when the family power is greatest, the physical 
interest predominates, and it is here that we see to a larger extent 
than in the others the importance of a good technique on the part 
of the family. The home cannot escape dealing with the physical 
needs of the child, for to neglect him along this line is nearly the 
same thing as to will his death. Nor is it possible for the family 
to carry on practices that influence the physical development of the 
child without at the same time giving him instruction. The simplest 
thing that the parent does brings about habit-formation in the 
child. The child does not merely receive shelter, food, and comfort 
from the parent, but as he takes what the parent gives him, he 
establishes behavior habits and, later, standards which, within the 
physical realm, constitute his basic preparation for living. 

b. Effect of Early Regime Upon Physical Constitution. The 
events of this period do not, of course, merely establish ways of 
living physically that are likely to be maintained in later years; 
the regime produces more or less permanent effects upon the physical 
constitution. Medical science, by recognizing this fact and attempt- 
ing seriously to enlist the sympathy of mothers and to train them 
in the physical care of infants, has demonstrated, by lowering the 
death rate, how much the mothers can do to help or hinder the 
developing organism to maintain its vitality, to conquer its enemies 
of infection, and to establish a body that can stand the wear and 
tear of later life. 

c. Importance of Health Practices in Early Life. The serious- 
ness of the family influence hinges largely on the fact that the 


practices established in health routine, which are followed as a 
matter of course hy the child, give him the advantages or the 
penalties of wise or unwise habits. Bad habits are easy to start and 
hard to break. Good habits are easy to construct and just as per- 
sistent. Most unfortunately the parent who permits the bad habit 
to become firmly incorporated in the growing child's life is not 
likely to appreciate his mistakes, so that the family ordinarily is 
not equal to the finding or correcting of its own blunders. Evi- 
dence is plentiful that the problem of good hygiene for children 
in the family is found among all social classes. The badly nour- 
ished child is found among the wealthy, and the child of good 
physique and wholesome habits appears among the poor, at least 
unless the poverty is so excessive that it denies the growing body 
the necessary conditions of normal growth. Nevertheless, there is 
statistical evidence that low income is not only associated with a 
high death rate but frequently also with bad hygienic practices and 
attitudes Without question, underneath the low income and un- 
wise practices is lack of capacity or faulty training which perhaps 
deserves to be considered the root of the trouble, rather than the 
low wage or the unhealthful habits. 

d. Methods of Teaching. As we come in closer contact with 
child problems, it grows increasingly clear that children are taught 
by their parents largely through example rather than by verbal 
instruction. This is shown in the reactions of the child to food, 
and there is a mass of evidence that discloses that behind the fussy 
child there is an undisciplined adult who voices his food peculiari- 
ties in such a fashion as to impress strongly the developing child, 
who soon has well-established likes and dislikes. Although it is 
with reference to food that we find the most spectacular illustration 
of parental example, it is by no means true that it is here only that 
children imitate their parents in practices that are contrary to 
health. Less attention has been given to the results of parental 
example upon the sleeping habit; here as in the case of food we 
have conditioning influences that unquestionably last throughout 
life and normally hamper the efficiency of the individual. Although 
much less spectacular, the influence of the parent upon the child 
with reference to posture is certainly considerable, not merely be- 
cause of direct imitation but also as a consequence of the family- 


patterns that have grown up around the posture habits of th 
parents. Parents who use their bodies little and surround then 
selves with furniture that caters to their habits of slumping 
instead of sitting, have prepared for their children an environmer 
that bends them to its cramping lines as they loll in cushione 
seats and rest on overstuffed pillows. 

2. Vocational Training 

A second sort of instruction given by the family to the child ca 
be broadly described as vocational training. With respect to thi 
sort of teaching we detect a great loss as we pass from the pioneei 
ing and rural family to the urban. In the city the opportunit 
for instruction along the lines of vocational training is exceedingl 
limited. As a consequence, the family has to surrender in grea 
measure what was once one of its largest functions and depen 
almost exclusively upon the school In both the pioneering an 
rural families, on the other hand, not only was there an opportunit 
for the working of the child in useful toil, an experience of grea 
value in the construction of his character, but this also usuall, 
gave the parent and child, through their association, a commo 
ground of understanding and sympathy. The destitution of th 
city family in ways by which the child and parent can work tc 
gether represents one of its greatest losses, for which at the presen 
we have discovered no satisfactory substitute In so far as educa 
tion effectively offers any training along the lines of pre-vocationa 
preparation, it tends to be specialized and suggest the factory an< 
the laboratory more than it does family labor. Even in domesti 
science it is only by strenuous and continuous endeavor that th 
instruction is kept practical and well-adapted to the average es 
perience of the woman in the home. The surrender on the part o 
the average modern family to the narrower and less adaptabl 
training possible in the city has led, most important of all, t 
the giving up of an experience which made parent and child ente 
together into the brotherhood of toil. Socially this change is o 
the greatest importance, easily making it possible for parents t 
covet riches, recognize class distinctions, and lose respect for prc 
ductivc labor. Already there are evidences of the passing of on 
of our great social values, early experiences in toil without regar< 
to class owing, of course not entirely, to the inability of th 


family to provide the chores and household responsibility which 
used to help so much in the training for later life. 

3. Psychological Development and Personality 
If the modern trend is for family life to reduce its training in 
vocational directions, its tendency with respect to the psychological 
responsibilities of the home is the exact opposite. Recently the 
family has gained considerably in an understanding of its dangers 
and opportunities as it guides the child in his psychic development. 
The largest contribution of modern science in respect to the child 
has been the interpretation of early childish experiences that under- 
lie personality. Here the great emphasis has been placed upon the 
emotional growth of the child. It has been demonstrated by ex- 
periment and investigation that not only are the emotional disturb- 
ances of the child responsible for much of his maladjustment, but 
that the home itself has led the child into difficulty by bad manage- 
ment, faulty example, and lack of understanding. The problems 
are chiefly those of fear, inferiority feeling, and the building up by 
the child of a program which will permit him to escape the realities 
of life. With reference to these three emotional difficulties which 
easily turn the child from normal development, many investigators 
are convinced that the power of the parent is great, that the family 
can as easily build up right attitudes as bad. In other words, the 
child is not faulty from birth, nor does the parent need to root 
hereditary menaces out of his nature, but rather a sound program 
calls for cultivation of the child's resources in order that his emo- 
tional life may be mature and equal to the testing of the everyday 
grind of the adult period. 

4. Social-Moral Education 

In social and moral fields the family still maintains great influ- 
ence over the growing child, and, whether it will it or not, becomes 
a teaching agency. It has come to be recognized that one of the 
great dangers of family experience comes from a temptation, shared 
by the parent and the child, to build up great protection in the 
growing life, and, by the encouragement of the impulse to continue 
dependent, to create a 'parent fixation' from which the child with 
great difficulty later struggles to escape. Although there has been 
a decrease in the consciousness with which the family influences 


the religious and moral growth of the child, the home still has much 
to do with shaping the personality in its relation to morals and 
religion. There appears recently to be a slight disposition on tne 
part of the church to stress the family's part in religious education 
rather than to be content with its own efforts to help the child. 

5. Adaptation of Instruction to the Development 

of the Child 

As we watch the family in operation as a teaching agency, we 
find it undertaking a change with the development of the child. 
By meeting the needs of the child as they develop, it is enabled to 
exercise indirect influence upon the unfolding individual. As we 
find the child at birth he is exceedingly limited in his resources, but 
he at once begins the gradual growth of increasing power. Starting 
with his eye and hand coordination, the enrichment of his experience 
goes forward with increasing rapidity. Walking and talking repre- 
sent events of greatest importance and bring him into a different 
relationship with his parents. By the power of locomotion the child 
increases his freedom and captures the attention of the parent, who 
is forced to give heed to the child's behavior. The child's ability 
to walk about when he still has little knowledge of how to protect 
himself from dangers is at present, on account of the automobile, 
a source of even greater anxiety than formerly to many families. 
The establishment of the more elaborate contact of child and parent 
through the speaking of the child and the rapid accumulation on 
his part of a vocabulary also requires of the parent a new type of 
instruction. The family influence upon speech is so great that 
perhaps the child never entirely frees himself from the character- 
istics of his early family association. As soon as the child begins 
to ask questions, he taxes the patience and the knowledge of the 
parent. Here, again, there is evidence that the early impressions 
given by the family in normal life have much to do with establish- 
ing personality traits in children that last all through life. 

So much is made of the risk of family education that its dangers 

deserve analysis. 

a. Intimacy and Privacy of the Home. The first peculiarity 

that reveals the significance of the family is its intimacy. It is 


within the family circle that the child gets his first impressions and 
his chief habit-sets. Personality throws away the coercion of public 
standards within the privacy of the home and in consequence the 
child is forced to meet in the home the ordeal of intimate and 
familiar contact. 

&. Difficulty of Establishing Standards. Another risk that 
belongs to the family comes from the fact that there is great diffi- 
culty in establishing for the home functional standards. As a rule 
the family's idea of what it needs to accomplish for the child runs 
easily toward some definite, but static, attainment. Effort is made 
to teach the child to accomplish some concrete task, with little 
regard to the meaning of this for the child or for his personal 
growth. The fallacy of assuming that the adult value carries mean- 
ing to the child is one common to all education, but parents are 
less likely to guard themselves against this than are well-trained 

c. Lack of Objective Supervision. This second difficulty is 
more significant than it otherwise would be because we have no 
way by which we can supervise family life. It does not have the 
advantage of the schools that comes from an outsider's inspection, 
and the faults that so easily develop in the parent's management 
are rarely corrected by the parent's realization of his mistakes. If 
the child is helped, it usually must be by outside influences that 
recognize the failure of the family and attempt consciously to 
reconstruct the child's growth. Unfortunately the indifferent 
parent is tempted in his effort to control his child's behavior either 
to favor conduct that is most convenient for himself or to demand 
a mere conforming to the conventions of the group. In other words, 
the parent is likely to have his attention upon himself or upon 
outside approval rather than upon the needs of the child. If faulty 
development because of the family were confined within the home, 
its importance would be greatly lessened, but whatever happens to 
the child in his relationship with his parents, brothers, and sisters 
has a result that becomes a part of his personality, and is carried 
into the outside experiences, usually throughout life. 



From a social point of view a wise policy with, reference to the 
home as a teaching agency should, to meet the demands of those 
interested in children, comprise certain definite principles which 
may be briefly set forth here. 

1. Non-Isolation Policy , 

The home cannot afford to be isolated or independent. It cannot 
hope to function well unless it enters into closer relationship with 
the other institutions which help make the child and also uncover 
the mistakes of parents in his earlier preparation. The effective 
way to reform the family is not found in a direct attack upon its 
faults but in a relationship between it and other social institutions 
which will automatically reveal to the family its faulty practices. 

2. Education for Parenthood 

a. PreparentaL If the family is still to maintain to any degree 
its present functions as a teaching agency, there is need of pre- 
paring those who enter upon marriage and family life to meet 
wisely their responsibilities 

6. Parental. The demand made by parents for specific counsel 
when they come face to face with concrete difficulties is one factor 
in the instituting of the various experiments that are now develop- 
ing in the effort to meet this need. Some more enlightened parents 
have even gone so far as to see the wisdom of asking experienced 
persons to pass judgment upon the family setting, not because con- 
duct difficulties have arisen but because the parent naturally fears 
his own bias and subjective standards and desires assistance in 
correcting his possible mistakes. Parental sensitiveness, which for 
so long has made it hard to help the family, has in recent years 
remarkably decreased. This is an advantage, for it removes the 
basis of former skepticism regarding the value of instruction for 
parents. It gives encouragement to those who believe that fathers 
and mothers can be helped to use wisely the opportunity provided 
in the early years of the child to give him a good start in life. 




The term day nursery as used in this country stands for an 
institution having one primary purpose namely, the day care of 
children who remain part of the family unit but who for social or 
economic reasons cannot receive ordinary parental care. 

"Where regulation by municipal or state ordinance exists, the 
legal definition may be somewhat as follows: "Any institution or 
place in which three or more children, not of common parentage, 
are received for temporary guardianship and nursery care, apart 
from their parents, whether for compensation, reward or otherwise, 
during part or all of the daylight hours, shall be deemed a day 
nursery." 2 

Supporting this type of service are the following agencies : 

1. Private individuals for gain (tenement-house nurseries; 

nurseries for children of business and professional women) 

2. Private individuals organized as a body, incorporated or un- 
incorporated, to establish a day nursery as a charity 

3. Churches and religious organizations 

4. Welfare associations 

5. Social settlements, as a part of their community work 

6. Industries, as a means of securing and holding women 

7. A public school system 

In this list are four main groups deserving consideration. 
Numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 may be considered as one group, since the 
object of each is charitable relief. The four groups then are: 
(1) the commercial nursery, (2) the philanthropic nursery, (3) the 
industrial nursery, and (4) the nursery under the control of a 
public school system. 

*The Committee gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mrs. Barbara 
Bartlett, Graduate School, Yale University, in the preparation of this chapter. 
" New York City Ordinance, 1928. 



1. The Independent Commercial Nursery 

The first group, the independent commercial day nursery, in- 
cludes the nursery in what is probably its earliest form. This was 
the neighborly care for a small fee by one friendly mother for the 
children of others who must work outside the home, thus eking 
out two inadequate incomes. 

This type under industrial conditions has developed the day 
nursery in its lowest and least desirable form, e.g., the tenement- 
house nursery where infants and toddlers are found crowded in 
unventilated family rooms, in hazardous and dirty surroundings, 
with exposed milk, improper food, and no place to rest but the 
floor or the family bed. 

These nurseries are used by mothers in localities where organized 
nursery service is inadequate or does not exist. They are also used 
by mothers who chafe at necessary nursery restrictions, by those 
too ignorant or indifferent to appreciate the skilled care given in 
the better nurseries. 

Nurseries of this type are probably much more numerous in 
crowded foreign sections than the public realizes. They are diffi- 
cult to regulate, for they spring up overnight and operate for 
months without coming to the attention of the proper authorities. 
They contribute nothing to childhood but extra dangers. 

, The newer type of commercial nurseries is on an entirely 
different plane. The secretary of the National Federation of Day 
Nurseries reports that its office has numerous requests for nursery 
care for the children of business and professional women who are 
able and willing to pay the full cost for such service. Whether 
this will result in the establishment of this new type as a permanent 
factor or whether the nursery school and the progressive private 
school will take its place is a matter which comparative conveni- 
ence and expense will probably determine. 

2. The Philanthropic Nursery 

The second group, the privately supported philanthropic nurs- 
ery, is the type most commonly known, to the public and in which 
the greatest number of children is received. This type will be 
described more fully later. 


3. The Nursery Organized by Industry 

The third group, the industrial, is self-explanatory. It com- 
prises day nurseries organized and supported by individual in- 
dustries in order to attract and hold women workers by offering 
freedom from worry over the danger of illness or accident to un- 
guarded children. During the war there was a threatening increase 
of this type. Industry used the nursery as a means for tempting 
women into factories, even offering women with nursing babies time 
to leave their work for the purpose of feeding them. In most cases 
the care offered was very inadequate. It was in charge of untrained 
women. As the nursery plant was usually a part of a factory 
building, it offered no care for children of school age, who are cer- 
tainly as much in need of supervision as the infants and preschool 
children for which provisions had been made. Happily, even under 
these conditions, the nursery proved so expensive to the manufac- 
turers that most of them were abandoned when war conditions 

Whether this increase is only temporarily halted is still a question. 
All reports show a great increase in the number of married women 
entering industry and only a small proportion of these are using existing 
nurseries. A study* of industrial mothers made in Philadelphia in 1919 
showed that of 558 working mothers with little children, only 51 used 
the nurseries, although they lived in sections where the nurseries were 
long established. 

On the other hand, in 1926 the following statements were made as 
to New York state conditions: "The whole trend is toward the em- 
ployment of women in larger and larger numbers. They like to feel 
the industrial woman as well as the professional a certain kind of 
economic independence. . . . Another large factory, in one of our Cen- 
tral New York industrial towns, where the number of married women 
employed in the factory is just increasing in leaps and bounds because 
their city is developing so industrially, finds they have got to seek means 
of securing women's labor in order to meet the needs of production. 
The employer frankly told me not more than two weeks ago, 'I am go- 
ing to open a nursery in connection with my factory, because I can't 
get married women to work for me and I need them/ " 4 

* Hughes, Gwendolyn. Mothers tw Industry. Unpublished thesis, 1919, 
Bryn Mawr College, quoted by Tyson, H. C., Day Nurseries in Pennsyl- 
vamto, p. 12. 

* Address by Nelle Swartz. "The trend of women's employment." Asso- 
ciation of Day Nurseries of New York City, Annual Report, 1926, pp. 8-15, 


In another case a manufacturer definitely modified his industrial 
policy to meet the needs of his married women employees and found it 
necessary to delay the beginning of his week until Monday noon as his 
workers refused to come in until the week's washing was on the line. 

Such conditions will not be found in crowded city sections where 
there is a surplus of labor or where adolescent workers tread on the 
heels of older people. This new increase in employment of married 
women will probably be confined to given cities where the labor supply 
is not otherwise adjusted to new industrial demands. 

4. Day Nurseries in a Public School System 

The fourth group is limited to one city, Los Angeles, California. 
Following the enforcement of the compulsory school law in 1910, 
the public schools found themselves faced with the problem of tiny 
brothers and sisters left unprotected, when older children in the 
foreign sections were compelled to attend school. The Board of 
Education furnished the room, and the parent-teacher association 
undertook the supervision of the first babies who had been left 
about in school corridors and offices. The problem proved to be of 
such importance and so closely allied to school conditions that in 
1917 the Board of Education undertook the support and super- 
vision of all needed nurseries. It now operates 20 with a monthly 
enrollment of over 1,400 children. 

In a recent letter the Assistant Superintendent in charge of 
this work lists the following reasons for operating the nurseries: 
They offer the first step in the Americanization of foreign children 
and their mothers; they afford proper education for the small 
child, in courtesy, table manners, patriotism, etc. ; they prevent 
absence of larger children from school. If no nurseries existed, 
many children would be deprived of regular attendance at school 
by being required to remain at home to care for the little ones. 

Funds from two sources are nearly sufficient to cover the entire 
cost of these nurseries : the parent pays a fee of ten cents a day 
per child ; and the state makes, to each school district, a grant based 
on the number of children attending daily. 

It is evident that the real objective in the establishment of these 
nurseries was the good of the older children and only indirectly 
that of the little ones. Unless the object of such service by a board 
of education is chiefly scientific preschool education and the edu- 
cation of parents in better standards of child care, it can hardly be 


justified. Such a department would seem to be a dangerous sub- 
stitute for more thorough forms of relief in cases of poverty and 
neglect. Certainly, it belongs more properly under private auspices 
or a board of public welfare. So far, no other city has undertaken 
this service as a part of its school work. 


There are approximately 600 regularly-organized day nurseries 
in the United States. Even the government census of 1923 failed 
to list the innumerable commercial nurseries. It is probably true, 
however, that the majority of children receiving day-nursery care 
are in these 600 nurseries. A study of their history and standards 
will be typical of the service given. 

1. Begun as a War Measure 

Organized day nurseries have existed in the United States for 
65 years. It is significant that they were at first, like so many 
other forms of child welfare, a by-product of war. It was in 
Philadelphia in 1863 that the first permanent day nursery was 
established to care for the children of women needed to manu- 
facture soldiers' clothing and to clean in hospitals. Men, were at 
war ; industries needed workers j women were urged or forced to 
become breadwinners ; children were neglected. The last two fac- 
tors have continued to be the important elements in all-day nursery 

2. The Period from 1880 to 1900 

Those established were modeled on the French creche. Until 
1880 the number increased slowly* From 1880 on, their history 
can be roughly divided into two periods, the first from 1880 to 
1900, the second from 1900 to the present year. 

a. Economic Necessity. In each period certain factors influ- 
enced and moulded day-nursery procedure, but one outstanding 
cause lay behind all growth namely, economic necessity. During 
the first period private philanthropy met the needs of women forced 
to support their children because of widowhood, desertion, or illness. 
The pioneer women whose vision and devotion made possible this 
extension of friendly help to less fortunate sisters have hardly 

received the credit which their service deserves. If in later years 
there could have developed a clearer vision, on the part of the 
boards, of the possibilities of the day nursery in organized social 
service, a better understanding of the complicated problems it 
faced, more sympathetic and understanding criticism by other wel- 
fare agencies, it might now be doing a larger piece of work with 
adequate financial support. 

b. Surrendering of Children to Institutional Care. While in- 
dustrial necessity and economic need are the essential factors in 
considering day-nursery growth, certain other factors influenced 
its development. Until 1900 few cities had any form of outdoor 
relief for poverty or unemployment. Consequently, the number of 
children surrendered by their parents to institutional care became 
alarming. In a report of 1899 for New York City alone 15,000 
children were thus cared for at an expense to the public of over a 
million and a half dollars. Apprehensive over the dangers of 
lessened parental responsibility, over the unnecessary hardships 
endured by mothers and children thus separated, and over the 
great financial burden placed on the tax payer, relief agencies urged 
the increase of day nurseries as a more humane and less costly 
method of mitigating these evils. 

c. Formation of Day-Nursery Associations. In 1892 ninety 
regularly-organized day nurseries were listed; by 1897 they had 
increased to one hundred and seventy-five. Standards were so 
diverse and the need of a better understanding of functions and 
problems so evident that nurseries began to combine in local city 
or district associations. In 1898 these united in a National Federa- 
tion of Day Nurseries, which now has an office at 105 East 22nd 
Street, New York City. It acts as a clearing house for day-nursery 

3. The Period from 1900 to 1928 

From the beginning of the second period, in 1900, many factors 
complicated day-nursery development. 

a. Influence of Immigration. Immigration flooded the country 
with an overplus of low-paid labor. Great industrial expansion was 
possible, because this surplus labor was willing to work for so 
little. Bad living conditions and economic pressure drove women 


to add their bit to the family income. The women's invasion of 
industry began with industry making a direct bid for even lower- 
paid women workers. The resulting neglect of childhood was 
serious. Whole sections of foreign-born had nothing in their past 
experience to guide them in meeting this unknown world of con- 
gestion. The health hazards and the danger to family life made 
a stirring appeal to philanthropists and again they urged an in- 
crease in day nurseries. Even as late as 1926 one city shows that 
one third of all admissions to its 20-odd nurseries were from families 
with both parents working. Industry became interested on its own 
account. It seemed more profitable to have a woman employee's 
mind at ease about her children than to have her work interrupted 
by worry. As a result of these two conditions, two kinds of 
nurseries appeared, namely, those organized and supported by 
philanthropy, taking care of the problems created by industry, and 
those organized and supported by the industries themselves. 

~b. Criticism of Health Standards. Other factors influenced 
social work at this time and affected day nurseries. Day nurseries 
tinder pressure exerted by various relief agencies gave service to 
ever-increasing numbers. During this period of expansion health 
standards became so low that severe criticism was forthcoming from 
physicians and other health agencies. Under pressure to meet the 
needs of increased numbers without adequate financial support, day 
nurseries had not kept pace with advanced medical or social knowl- 
edge. Very justly, the medical men criticised the admission of 
infants and emphasized the importance of keeping mothers with 
nursing babies out of industry. They also criticized the lack of 
needed inspection for disease and needed health supervision. 

c. Criticism of the Effect of Day Nurseries upon the Home. The 
danger of lessened parental responsibility was emphasized by social 
welfare workers in nurseries which admitted without adequate 
family case work large numbers of children whose parents both 
worked. It was generally assumed that the establishment of the 
day ntirsery now freed the woman from home responsibilities and 
encouraged her to enter industry. Other forms of relief were put 
forward as more adequate and better safeguarded. The establish- 
ment of mothers' pension funds was urged as a better means of 
assisting a worthy mother than day-nursery help, with its serious 


limitations. The extension of the probation system was recom- 
mended in order to keep delinquent husbands at productive labor 
instead of in prison. The National -Council of Social Workers has 
objected to the establishment of day nurseries because of these 
(supposed) facts. There is conclusive evidence that these criticisms 
are not valid when applied to the inherent nature of the day 
nursery, but only valid when applied to the quality of its service. 

As a matter of fact, the day nursery was a result, not a cause, 
of woman's entering industry. The laws relating to desertion by 
husbands were inadequate, and mothers with small children were 
enticed into industry. To meet the needs of women who were forced 
or tempted into the factory, day nurseries were established. The 
fact that only a small proportion of married women in industry use 
the nursery even when available is another answer to this criticism- 
Mothers ' pensions are too low in most states for adequate support; 
they are not granted in cases of desertion, unemployment, or non- 
support unless of long standing. Emergency cases of illness, death 
of mother, disabling of father, make nearby neighborly care of the 
children a boon. 

It is possible to restrict day-nursery privileges to families with 
whom constructive family case work can be done. In this way the 
care of the child in the nursery becomes an interlocking factor in 
a larger plan of family welfare, calling for cooperative work with 
all types of social organizations. 

In 1919, the National Council of Social Workers gave the day 
nurseries a place on the program of their annual meeting. This 
may be an indication of the appreciation of the need of this type 
of social service. 

1. Types of Families Using the Day Nursery 

The families using the day nurseries are drawn from homes 
which fail to function normally in other words, from 'broken 
homes.' The following analysis of reasons, for nursery care in 
Pennsylvania is typical of other industrial* cities or states : 5 

5 Tyson/ Helen Glenn. Day Nurseries w Pennsylvania. A study made for 
the Bureau of Children, Department of Welfare, Reprint Bulletin 17, p. 12. 


Father dead 287 Father insane 15 

Father deserted 158 Father in jail 6 

Low wage of father 101 Mother unmarried 28 

Parents separated 72 Mother dead 35 

Father disabled 38 Mother sick 23 

Father sick 58 Mother deserted n 

Father out of work 25 Family in debt 7 

Non-support 31 Miscellaneous reasons 23 

Parents divorced 13 

The children of mothers who must assume the double r61e of 
homekeeper and bread-winner, without relatives or friends to help 
share their burden, make up the bulk of day-nursery admissions. 
These mothers are largely of foreign parentage, from congested dis- 
tricts where health and family standards are low. This places on 
the day nursery a double burden : the scientific care and educa- 
tion of the children after admission is granted, and the education 
of the parents in applying these better standards in the home. 

2. The Care of Infants 

a. Age-Range of Children. The day nursery itself is a large 
family. Its members range in age from infants under a year old 
to children of school age. The bulk of admissions ranges probably 
between the ages of one and six years. The pressure from phy- 
sicians to keep nursing mothers at home has tended to decrease the 
number of infants in the nurseries where better provision to meet 
family needs can be provided by other relief measures. 

6. Twenty -Four-Hour Service, However, there is still need 
for infant care and often for twenty-four-hour service. There is a 
tendency to concentrate this needed service in large cities into 
skelters where babies of mothers receiving hospital or convalescent 
care may have both day and night supervision. New York City has 
six such shelters, some accepting older children. New Jersey has 
several good ones, and there is one at Worcester, Massachusetts. 
Other nurseries take on this service in emergencies like sudden ill- 
ness in the liome or the necessary absence of the mother. 

c. Extent. The secretary of the New York Association of Day 
Nurseries reports that 33 of the 49 day nurseries in the association 
admit infants under nine months. It is probable that this implies 
a daily unit of five or six babies in the nurseries which make this a 


special part of their service. In these cases the babies are usually 
in charge of a trained baby nurse under the supervision of the 
superintendent, who is usually a registered nurse. This does not 
hold true in the smaller nurseries or in those of smaller cities 
or towns. 

d. The Problem. The problem of giving adequate care to 
infants in connection with the care of older children is a costly 
and difficult one. Wherever possible, arrangements should be made 
to keep the mother at home with the child until it is a year old. 
This will be increasingly feasible as the cooperation of other local 
welfare agencies is sought. 


1. Early Lack of Supervision 

Like most social agencies, day nurseries were established and 
extended through the first decade without supervision or responsi- 
bility to any regulating agency. The increase was sporadic and 
irregular. Those commanding adequate funds and having a clear- 
visioned, intelligent board of managers gave care which kept pace 
with advancing knowledge of social and child welfare. But some 
with intelligent boards lacked funds and some with ample funds 
lacked efficient boards ; and so, unregulated and unsupervised, the 
greater number gave well-intentioned but inadequate physical and 
educational care to their children. 

2. Typical Example of Low Standards 

The following situation is only too typical of a day nursery run 
by those who lacked both vision and funds. 

A day nursery was supported by a church known over a large sec- 
tion for its humanitarian and social welfare work. It was housed in 
the church basement where no sunlight ever came, with no furniture 
but church settees, chairs, and tables. The children were in charge of 
an ignorant woman who was given the position as an act of charity 
and against whom charges of cruelty to the children were preferred. 
There was no medical supervision, no provision for cleanliness or rest, 
no opportunity for outdoor play or fresh air, no playthings but a broken, 
torn assortment of second-hand toys. And yet all efforts to have these 
conditions corrected met with this response from the church supervisor: 
"We cannot afford to do more and what would these working mothers 
do without us? They are grateful for this." 


3. Cost of Adequate Service in Day Nurseries 

The question of adequate support has always been a handicap 
to effective day-nursery work. The necessary housing and equip- 
ment, the skilled care by trained workers, medical inspection and 
supervision, proper food, provision for cleanliness, and protection 
in illness make a high per capita cost. This has been an important 
factor in keeping standards low. The following quotation 6 illus- 
trates the necessity for making sure that sufficient funds are in 
sight before a nursery is started : 

"In general it may be stated that good day-nursery care in a 
nursery accommodating from 35 to 40 children a day and not over- 
weighted with the more expensive care of babies costs on an aver- 
age about $10,000 a year. . . . Roughly the division of the budget 
is about as follows : 

Salaries 30-40 percent, or $3,000-$4,000 

Food 20-30 percent, or $2,000-$3,000 

General Maintenance 50-30 percent, or $5,000-$3,000" 

In places such as Cleveland, Ohio, and Springfield, Massachu- 
setts, where Community Chests finance the city's charitable and 
relief work, the day nursery is considered a worthy part of such 
service and entitled to adequate support. 

4. Development of Health Standards 

a. The Need for Health Provisions. Wherever groups of chil- 
dren are housed for hours together, extra health hazards are created 
unless the situation is most carefully guarded. This places health 
standards as the first concern of a nursery board. The ever-present 
danger of the spread of infections and contagions, the compelling 
evidence of undernourishment and poor mouth hygiene, all cen- 
tered the first efforts at standardization upon proper medical in- 
spection and supervision, diet, safe housing, facilities for isolation, 
cleanliness, fresh air, and sunhine. 

&. Early Improvements. Progress along these lines came where 
progressive boards of managers voluntarily brought these essential 
conditions about in their own nurseries. In other cases pressure 


from interested medical men and local boards of health forced 
better conditions. 

c. State and Municipal Ordinances. This movement resulted 
in the whole-hearted backing of the best nursery leaders to estab- 
lish state and municipal ordinances in different sections of the 
country. California and Ohio each have such a state law. Massa- 
chusetts has one placing the enforcement in the hands of the local 
city boards of health. Cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Cleve- 
land, Boston, and Chicago have carefully phrased ordinances estab- 
lishing a minimum of safeguards. Where these are intelligently 
and conscientiously enforced, conditions are greatly improved. 

d. Future Progress. But it is only fair to state that the better 
nurseries voluntarily live up to the requirements, while the poorer 
ones escape being closed through the mistaken kindness of the 
authorities. Real progress must come through the intelligent direc- 
tion and combined effort of the medical men, clear-visioned man- 
agers, trained staffs, and social workers. 

5. Need for Educational Standards 

a. Educational Regulations. On the educational side such 
statutes recognize the need of a staff trained in the physical care 
and mental health of children and the limitation of the number of 
children to a worker. This is done in order that the child may not 
become institutionalized but may develop an individuality. These 
regulations also require that suitable recreation be provided. 

b. Early Appreciation of Educational Function. It is interest- 
ing that the day nursery almost from the beginning recognized its 
possibilities as an educational factor in child welfare. Many papers 
in the earliest Federation reports stress the importance of this side 
of the work and foreshadow in thought and ideals many of the 
fundamental ideas underlying the present nursery school. They 
had not at hand, however, the scientific facts which the newer 
workers enjoy. 

c. Education of Preschool Children. For a long time the chil- 
dren from infancy to school age were given practically no education 
in the day nursery except that which may have come indirectly 
from a regime based on health standards. The children were given 
little training in specific habit-formation. There was practically no 


effort to provide experiences which would be educative and en- 
riching. The play materials were meager and ill-suited to con- 
structive child activity. This was due in large measure to the lack 
of vision for the educational possibilities of the preschool years, to 
the fact that the personnel in the day nurseries have had little or 
no training in the mental or physical care of children, and to the 
lack of sufficient funds to secure personnel who were thus trained. 

The first attempt to provide better educational opportunity for 
preschool children was in providing kindergartens or Montessori 
schools for the four- and five-year-old children in the nursery. 
This was sometimes done through cooperation with other welfare 
organizations. More recently there has been a movement among 
the more progressive day nurseries to open a nursery school 7 
within the day nursery for the two- and three-year-old children. 
The development of such educational service is expensive, but it is 
absolutely essential if the day nursery is to meet the real needs 
of young children. 

d. Education of Parents. The day nursery also recognized in 
its early days the importance of educational work with its families. 
Mothers' meetings where instruction was given in child care were 
regularly held and classes in sewing and cooking were a recognized 
part of their service. Efforts were made to supervise home condi- 
tions as to diet and health. This work was carried on under the 
most discouraging conditions, for the difficulties of giving instruc- 
tion to women tired from a day's factory work, with home duties 
in the remaining hours, were almost insurmountable, tinder pres- 
sure of actual nursery care 'this part of the work was often lost, 
or indifferently done. 

Now every progressive nursery recognizes the fact that, unless 
efforts are made to keep home conditions near the level of nursery 
practice and to help develop a more intelligent parenthood, most of 
what is accomplished in the nursery is lost. Without such a pro- 
gram the work does not justify the money given to support the 

T For detailed descriptions of nursery schools organized within day nur- 
series see "The Mary Crane Nursery School," and the nursery schools of the 
"Cleveland Day Nursery and Free Kindergarten Association," in Chapter 
VIH. A description of a, Montessori nursery school oiganized in a day 
nursery is given in "The Bowling Green Nursery School," in the same chapter. 


6. Conference on Welfare Standards 

Following the war (1919) the Children's Bureau sponsored the 
Washington and Regional Conferences on Child Welfare Standards. 
A discussion of the day nursery as a factor in the scientific care 
and education of the preschool child brought out the great diverg- 
ence of views concerning the status of the day nursery as a social 
institution. Dr. Gesell's statement is the clearest summing up of 
the results of the discussion. ' ' There is as yet in America no solid 
body of opinion regarding the functions and the future of the day 
nursery. Social workers, parents, educators, and physicians have 
numerous and divergent views on the subject; standards are very 
uneven in different communities and often in the same community, 
and too often standards do not appear to exist at all. The nursery 
never comes under educational supervision, and only sometimes 
under compulsory medical supervision. Only in a few states are 
nurseries controlled through licenses and inspection. In short, the 
day nursery is far from being a commonly accepted official agency 
of child hygiene in this country." 8 

7. Improvement in Standards 

Since Gesell's statement was written, in 1923, there is some 
evidence that the day nurseries themselves realize that standards 
must be raised if the public is to be asked to support their work. 
Better-trained workers are being employed and social case workers, 
psychologists, and psychiatrists are asked to contribute their knowl- 
edge in order to round out the effective service given the nursery 
families. Better medical and dental care is being given in most 
nurseries. Local city associations have formulated standards 
notably, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. 9 

The essential standards as formulated by the National Federa- 
tion of Day Nurseries are listed here as typical of general require- 
ments. They are followed by a list of suggestions which it is hoped 
the nurseries will adopt as fast as possible. 

Gesell, Arnold. The Preschool CMld from the Standpoint of "Public 
Hygiene and Education. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1923. Pp. 41-42. 

"Mrs. Tyson's report, referred to previously, contains a splendid list of 
standards based on the laws and ordinances of various states and cities, the 
minimum standards of the National Federation of Day Nurseries, the Phila- 
delphia Association of Day Nurseries, and the Study of Day Nurseries of 
Philadelphia made in 1916 



1. Hygienic plumbing. 

2. Walls and floors must be finished so as to be washable, and each 
nursery should have an isolation room for emergency cases. 

3. Before admittance each case must be investigated by a quali- 
fied worker who should continue regular supervision of the 

4. Children must be examined by a physician before entrance. 

5. Children should be examined by a physician once a month, 
stripped if possible. 

6. Daily examination of each child by superintendent or competent 
member of the staff before admission to the nursery. 

7. All children should be given at least two meals a day. 

8. Dietary recommended by Federation should be used. 

9. Separate dishes, drinking cups, towels, wash-cloths, combs, 
toothbrushes, and aprons must be provided for each child and 
so tagged that there will be a complete outfit for the use of 
each individual child. 

10. All children of kindergarten age should brush their teeth daily 
in the nursery. Examination and treatment by a dentist if 
possible (Dental Clinics). 

11. All children should wear nursery aprons not a uniform and 
infants be dressed in nursery clothes where possible. 

12. The clothing of each child should be hung in a well-ventilated 
closet far enough apart to avoid contact. (Mesh bags are 
recommended) . 

13. Persons in charge of a nursery should have understanding of 
emotional and behavior problems of children and, in meeting 
their serious problems, have the cooperation of a mental hygiene 
clinic or a psychiatric worker connected with the nursery. 

14. There must be a rest period for all children, on cots or beds. 
No child should be allowed to rest on the floor or with head 
on table. 

15. The nursery should give some form of education to children 
from three to six years of age. 

16. Not more than eight infants or fifteen runabouts should be un- 
der the care of one attendant. A teacher should have an as- 
sistant for more than twenty-five pupils. 

17. Simple records of each child must be kept. An annual report 
should be presented, following the suggestions of the Federation. 


i. The survey of health and nutrition and its appended dietary, 
which is on file in the office of the Federation, is recommended 
to the nurseries. 


2. Each child should have at least two or three hours a day in 
the open air or in a room with windows open and outdoor 
clothing on. 

3. The superintendent of the nursery should be a competent woman 
with an intelligent understanding of the physical and mental 
health of the children. The staff should be adequate and com- 
posed of women who are capable of cooperating in a compe- 
tent way with the nursery schedule. 

4. If, after morning inspection, signs of a contagious disease are 
noted, the child must be placed in the isolation room and kept 
entirely apart from the other children and the Department of 
Health notified at once. 

5. It is recommended that cod-liver oil, one teaspoon daily from 
November ist to April ist, be given the children, if sanctioned 
by the nursery physician. 

6. As much instruction as possible in the care and understanding 
of their children should be given the mothers either through the 
mothers' clubs or through home visiting by a trained worker. 

7. There should be on file in the ofHce of the nursery a record that 
each child regularly attending has been examined by the nursery 
physician at least twice a month, the said examinations to be 
not less than two weeks apart. There should also be a record 
of the weight of each child. 

8. All persons employed in the care of children in the day nursery 
shall present a health card from the Department of Health or 
some regular physician, showing their freedom from commu- 
nicable disease, before' they shall be engaged by the day nursery. 


A typical day in a nursery may illustrate the problems and 
diversities of nursery work. 

The nursery must be equipped to meet varied needs, for with 
its large family it must provide for the health, growth, feeding, 
rest, and recreation of many ages from an infant to a school boy 
of twelve. 

I. Arrival at the Nursery 

The nursery opens at 7 or 7:30. The nurse or superintendent is 
on hand to meet the incoming family. The mother is already weary 
with the early awakening to get the children clean, dressed, fed, and 
into the nursery in time to get to her shop or factory. Throats, noses, 
eyes, and skin are examined as the mother waits. When the children 
are accepted, she goes to her work secure in the knowledge that the 
children are safe and happy until her return. She may have left three 
children a baby, a toddler, and a school boy. 


2. The Care of Infants 

The baby is carried up to the baby nursery. Home clothing is 
changed for nursery garments, and milk feedings are prepared according 
to his special formula. He rests in his own crib, so arranged that the 
utmost cleanliness is possible, and his day of carefully-divided periods 
begins: feedings; rest; perhaps a sunbath; play with toys in his crib, 
or chair if he is old enough. 

3. The Program for Preschool Children 

Then there is little sister of three. If the day nursery is in a large 
city and under the guidance of a progressive board, she will probably 
have the advantage of attending a nursery school. In such case her 
program will be similar to that of the Go wan Nursery School described 
in Chapter VIII. Or, there may be a Montessori school with a program 
like that of Bowling Green Nursery. If, however, there are no such 
provisions, her day and that of the other toddlers will be something like 
this: Play until 9:15; wash face and hands; drink milk; play until 
11:00; thorough washup for dinner; dinner; nap from 12:30 to 2:30; 
dressing; play until 4:00; wash face and hands; supper between 4:30 
and 5 :oo ; play from then on until mother comes from work at 5 130. 

4. The Program for School Children 

Her brother of seven years is examined with the others and sent 
to play until time for public school. Then with other school children 
of his group he is taken to his school building by a nursery worker. At 
12 he is back in the nursery. He scrubs up with his individual face 
cloth and towel. The dinner which is served is arranged, as are all 
the other meals, to give just the right number of calories, the right 
vitamines, and body builders for his special age. He goes back to school 
in the afternoon and returns to the nursery at 4:00 o'clock for a lunch 
of crackers and milk. He plays outdoors, if possible; if not, there are 
indoor games, music, building, or constructive work fitted to his age 
and needs until the arrival of his mother at 5 :3O. 

5. Consultation with Parents 

While the mother is waiting for them to be dressed, she has a quiet 
talk with the superintendent or her assistant, stating her difficulties and 
getting needed advice and help. Perhaps the superintendent visits her 
in the evening after the children are in bed for further confidences. 
Sometimes she comes to get permission for the administering of toxin- 
anti-toxin, something which will insure a nursery year free from diph- 
theria if all mothers are equally cooperative. 

6. Responsibilities of the Staff 

It has been a full day for all concerned. The nursery superintend- 
ent and her helpers have had to look after the running of the institution, 


to write records, to consult the doctor on needed corrective work, to 
consult the nurse on the results of certain food formulas for the new 
baby. Often there is a hurried visit to find out why Frances is not in 
the nursery. The work of a day nursery multiplies all the duties of a 
busy mother by forty, with the added precautions necessary because 
of numbers. 

1. Relief Function of Day Nurseries 

There is often confusion in the public mind over the terms 
day nursery and nursery school. Although they have much in 
common, their ultimate goals differ. The day nursery is primarily 
a relief institution. Except in cases of illness the economic status 
of the family is the most important factor in deciding whether to 
grant or withhold aid. This aid is given with the aim of helping 
the family to become financially or socially independent. This 
emphasis on relief gives social service a more important part in a 
complete day-nursery program than is necessary in that of a 
nursery school. 

The age limits in the day nursery are greater than in the 
nursery school, for good day-nursery service must provide for 
infants, preschool, kindergarten, and school children, each group 
equally important in the day-nursery program. 

2. Educational Function of Nursery Schools 
A nursery school 10 has a definite educational goal limited to the 
needs of the preschool child and emphasizing the education of his 
parents in intelligent child guidance. Any child in the community 
whose parents wish their child to have this expert training may be 
admitted to a nursery school. 

A day nursery cannot be a true nursery school, but the day 
nursery needs to incorporate the educational service of the nursery 


There is evidence that the directors of day-nursery work are 
seeking help on their special type of social service from every 
available source. There are several outstanding needs to be met. 

M For a full discussion of nursery schools, see Chapter ViLL 


1. Consideration of All Aspects of Child Development 

There is need for more widespread understanding among day- 
nursery executives of the importance of all aspects of child life. 
There has been a great growth in raising health standards during 
the past two decades. But physical health cannot be attacked with- 
out due consideration of other aspects of child development. The 
child is an integrated being, and right social adjustments can only 
be attained in an environment which is planned for mental and 
emotional well-being as well as physical health. It is necessary to 
make provision for varied, enriching experiences, and self-initiated 
and self -directed constructive activities. The principles of mental 
hygiene must be understood and become a part of all procedures 
in the nursery, and expert guidance must be offered through be- 
havior clinics to families with unusual problems of emotional mal- 

2. Scientific Care of Infants 

The nursery is now giving more adequate and intelligent care to 
the needs of its preschool, kindergarten, and school group. The 
group which entirely lacks skilled care is the infant group. It is 
a question whether, in order to allow a mother to enter industry, 
infants should ever be admitted under the age of twelve months. 
But if such admissions are found necessary because of the lack of 
other resources, the most expert service in care, feeding, and hous- 
ing should be provided. With the knowledge we now have as to 
the important effects that physical and emotional surroundings 
have on this age and the influence which personalities with whom 
infants come in contact have upon them, no work is justified which 
does not surround them with proper safeguards. 

3. Parental Education 

In spite of its difficulties some form of parental education must 
go hand in hand with the expert care given the child in the nursery. 
The day nursery as well as the nursery school may make intelligent 
parenthood its goal by employing the regime and methods of child 
care and training as a point of departure to educate parents and 
modify home conditions. 


4. Need for Vision 

As long ago as 1906, Mrs. Anna Qarlin Spenser in a paper rea^d 
at a Federation meeting said, "I believe the evolution of the day 
nursery will be on the educational side." This seems like a 
prophecy. The extension of this aspect of its work by the day 
nursery will be limited only by the vision of its directors and their 
ability to interpret their vision to the public in such a way as to 
win understanding support. 


The following references are suggested for those who wish to ob- 
tain more detailed information about day nurseries in the United States. 

i. Discussions of Day Nurseries 

Gesell, Arnold, The Preschool Child from the Standpoint of Public 
Hygiene and Education. Boston: Houghton Mifflm, 1923. Ch. III. 

Baker, Josephine. Child Hygiene. New York: Harper, 1925. Pp. 266- 

Forest, Use. Preschool Education. New York: Macmillan, 1927. 

Hart, Helen. Day Nurseries in a Changing Industrial World. The As- 
sociation of Day Nurseries of New York City, Annual Report, 1926. 
Pp. 15-28. Association of Day Nurseries of New York City, An- 
nual Report, 1924. 

Swartz, Nelle. The Trend of Women's Employment. The Association 
of Day Nurseries of New York City, Annual Report, 1926 Pp. 8-15. 

Tyson, Helen Glenn. The Day Nursery in its Community Relations. 
Philadelphia Association of Day Nurseries, 1919. 

2. Studies and Surveys 

Brenton, Helen McKee. A Study of Day Nurseries. Chicago Associa- 
tion of Day Nurseries, 1918. 

Tyson, Helen Glenn. A Study of Day Nurseries in Pennsylvania. 
Pennsylvania State Department of Public Welfare. 1924. 

A Study of Day Nurseries of Philadelphia, 1926. Philadelphia As- 
sociation of Day Nurseries. 

3, Standards 

Caughey. Rating Scale for Day Nursery Standards. National Feder- 
ation of Day Nurseries, 1924. p. 2& 

Children's Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor. Standards of Child 
Welfare. Washington, D. C., Publication No. 60. 


Maternity and infant welfare centers are now a conspicuous 
feature in the educational program of mothers and of preschool 
children. The program of these centers as we know them to-day, 
including prenatal, infant, and preschool hygiene, has developed 
from the earlier work confined to infants and directed toward the 
lowering of infant mortality. 


Infant welfare work had its origin in France, where, in 1844, 
centers called creches, which provided shelter and a degree of 
physical care for the young children of working parents, came into 
existence. Later, other organizations were formed; notably, in 
1865, the Socicte Protectrice de TEnfance, which had as its object 
"to encourage maternal nursing, watch over infants sent out to be 
wet-nursed, and to instruct mothers in all classes of society in the 
care of their children.'' In 1876 the French Society for Nursing 
Mothers approached the problem of infant mortality by caring for 
the mother as well as the baby. Consultations for Nurslings were 
established in Paris in 1892, and milk depots in 1894 provided free 
service which later merged in a program of regular supervision of 
infants for two years, instruction of mothers in infant hygiene and 
feeding, promotion of breast feeding, and the distribution of clean 

The earliest record of this type of work in the United States is 
the establishment in 1889 of a milk dispensary for infants in New 
York. The movement developed rapidly from a remedial to a 
preventive program, passing through the stage of the cure of 
infants suffering from summer diarrhea and other intestinal dis- 
turbances during the hot summer months to an all-year program of 
the supervision of the well baby. 

It was early evident that, in order to deal adequately with the 
problem of infant mortality, the hygiene of the expectant mother 
must receive attention; so, as a natural growth, prenatal super- 



vision was added in many of the centers. Still later, the work was 
extended beyond the two years of infancy to include the physical 
hygiene of the preschool child, based upon the realization of the 
importance of this period for health protection and good develop- 
ment. This enlarged program is found in an increasing number of 
centers. Thus, to-day, the maternity and infant welfare center is 
an institution for the promotion of maternal, infant, and child 
health through medical supervision and education. 

1. Staff 

In any typical maternity and infant center we find the phy- 
sician, the nurse, usually a dietitian, and very often a social worker. 
Recently a psychiatric social worker and a dental hygienist or 
dentist have been added to the staff at certain centers. 

2. Prenatal Service 

a. Examinations. In the service devoted to prenatal work, a 
social history is taken, and expectant mothers are given a thorough 
medical examination, including necessary measurements and labora- 
tory tests. 

I. Instruction in Hygiene. A vital part of the work of the 
prenatal service is the instruction given to the mother regarding 
personal and home hygiene during the period of pregnancy and 
the preparation for delivery and care of the newborn infant. This 
instruction is carried on through individual conferences and group 
meetings, and is made to apply to the actual conditions under which 
the woman lives as disclosed by the home visits of nurse and social 
worker. The methods employed include lectures, demonstrations, 
mimeographed and printed literature, and exhibits. Through all 
the education, emphasis is placed upon the necessity for early and 
continuous medical supervision during pregnancy. 

3. Infant Conference 

a. Examinations and Consultations. At a typical infant con- 
ference, the social history is taken for newly enrolled cases. The 
nurse then weighs and measures the baby without clothing, after 


which the doctor makes a thorough examination and advises the 
mother concerning the progress of the baby. A careful record of 
all findings is made by the physician, including the record of 

A most important factor in the education of parents in infant 
stations is the medical examination and the conference with the 
doctor concerning it. The physician who takes advantage of the 
opportunity which this affords wields a great influence in the prac- 
tices of the mother. In the early days of the work in Paris, Dr. 
Budin said of the consultation that it was "worth just as much 
as the physician who conducted it, but no more." This is as true 
to-day as it was in 1892. 

The mother is expected to report regularly at the center, at 
which time the physician checks on the progress of the child and 
advises with her concerning her program. This provides con- 
tinuous medical supervision and education, and, because it empha- 
sizes healthy development measured against accepted standards 
rather than the cure of disease, brings to the mother a realization 
that the home program is the most important factor in the health 
and growth of her baby. 

&. Home Visits and Instruction by the Nurse. The education 
of the mother begun at the station is continued in the home by the 
nurse. She instructs the mother and demonstrates matters of 
home hygiene as well as the care of the baby, adapting her teaching 
to the limitations of the home. 

c. Group Meetings. Further education of mothers as a part 
of the program of an infant welfare center is carried on through 
group meetings. Certain information necessary to all mothers 
lends itself to group presentation, in which demonstration plays a 
large part. Lessons thus taught are further emphasized through 
individual instruction and demonstration in the home. 

4. Preschool Conference 

a. Initial Examinations and Consultations. The routine pro- 
cedure of recording social history, weighing and measuring, and 
thorough medical examination is conducted in the preschool con- 


ferenee in a manner similar to that in the infant welfare con- 
ference. In addition, dental clinics are a part of the center's work 
in an increasing number of places. In the physical examination of 
the preschool child, the physician notes as of great importance the 
health and food habits and the child ? s reactions to food and to other 
items in his daily program. The physical examination forms -used 
in many of the preschool centers indicate what an important part 
the record of these habits plays. 

b. ^Immunization to Diseasiitf It is also during this period that 
a careful check is made by the physician as to whether the child 
has been protected against disease through immunization, and in 
case he has not, emphasis is placed upon the necessity of this before 
entrance into school, ^ome centers administer the immunization 
to preschool children"; 


The physician's opportunity to explain the scientific basis for 
immunization and its importance to the child's health may lead 
to the building up of an intelligent attitude in the community 
toward preventive medicine and public health measures. 

c. Appeal to Child. U"he opportunities for education in the 
preschool center are significant, for here an appeal may be made 
not only to the mother but to the child as well. In this education 
the physician again plays an important role. His regular inspec- 
tion ofjhe^ child focuses the attention of the_ mother on healthy 
development, which isJSependent ugon the home program. 

The medical examination is an important factor in the. ediication 
of the child as well as of the parent. His cooperation may be 
secured by the physician who sees its value in stimulating health 
h#i>itgjk Moreover, the child who has become accustomed to the 
periodic examination gains a confidence and freedom from fear 
in his contact with the physician which helps to build in him a 
wholesome attitude toward medical supervision in later life. 

Certain phases of the physical examination furnish not only 
information concerning the child's condition, but a medium for the 
education of the child as well. Among these are the examination 
by the dental hygienist or dentist, and the hearing and vision tests] 
which are conducted as games in some centers and arouse great 
interest among the children. 


d. Measurements at Regular Intervals. The weighing and 
measuring at regular intervals is another important feature in the 
center's educational program. This both furnishes an index to the 
child's health and serves as a device for interesting both parent and 
child. It emphasizes for the mother the necessity for noting growth 
beyond the period of infancy and serves as a rough measuring 
stick for her to determine whether the program for which she is 
responsible in the home is producing results. For the child the 
regular weighing and measuring is a most appealing device even 
a very young child soon becomes interested in growing big. The 
dietitian and nurse build upon this interest in stimulating health 
habits through subsequent teaching. 

e. Behavior Difficulties. Such conferences between physician 
and mother frequently bring to light bad adjustment between 
mother and child and lack of understanding by the mother of how 
to cope with certain habits or attitudes. While extreme cases may 
become problems for the habit clinic, the pediatrician following the 
physical development of the supposedly normal child must advise 
the mother concerning the handling of the child with the finicky 
appetite or concerning similar problems relating directly to physical 
health. In certain centers the importance of child training in an 
infant and preschool hygiene program has been recognized by the 
addition of a psychiatric social worker to the staff of the center 
and making available psychiatric clinic service for special cases. 

An appeal may be made to the older children of the preschool 
group by a variety of devices, and the centers have developed 
material and methods for direct health teaching among this group 
for use at conferences and in the home. 


Since the work of maternity and infant welfare centers has been 
directed toward the reduction of infant mortality, the results can 
be partially measured in terms of mortality rates. In the areas 
served by these centers a study has always showed a noticeably 
lower infant death rate than that of the community as a whole. It 
was natural, therefore, for an increasing number of districts to 
establish centers in an attempt to bring down their rates. 


1. Private Agencies 

The early efforts were largely promoted and supported by pri- 
vate agencies. Quite early, special organizations were formed, 
usually known as infant welfare societies or by some similar name. 
The work of these earlier societies was concentrated on the problem 
of infant mortality in the more congested areas of our large cities. 
More recently, smaller cities have also developed centers. In some 
places, especially in large cities, the economic status of a family 
determines its eligibility for attendance at a center. 

The work of the Maternity Center Association in New York City 
is an outstanding example of scientific service and education in a ma- 
ternal and infant welfare program. Between the years 1918-21 it con- 
ducted centers in different districts in the city, from which a nursing 
service was extended for the education of mothers on physical care dur- 
ing pregnancy and in some cases for nursing service during confinement. 
The program also included at the centers classes for mothers on the 
hygiene of pregnancy. Teaching exhibits were developed for use in 
this connection. In 1922 the Association concentrated its efforts on the 
development of a complete maternity service in one district. Group in- 
struction for the education of mothers on the hygiene of pregnancy was 
made an outstanding feature of this program. The teaching exhibits 
used earlier were further developed to incjude graphic material on the 
development of the baby, food, nursing equipment, and infants' and 
mothers' wardrobes. 

Ambulatory clinics were established to provide medical supervision 
for expectant mothers who were receiving 1 nursing care from other 
organizations, but who would not otherwise have medical supervision. 
This organization also has conducted for the last two years private or 
appointment classes as a service for mothers in the professional and 
salaried groups. 

2. -City Health Departments 

The results obtained by these societies demonstrated the value 
of medical supervision of the young child and particularly of 
parental education in child care, so that gradually a public opinion 
was built up in favor of the extension, as a public function, of such 
a service to larger numbers. In many cities maternity and infant 
centers are now maintained by the health department, supported 
by public taxation. New York City led in this trend toward the 
establishment of centers under public auspices when the city health 
department established a Bureau of Child Hygiene in 1908, 


3. State and Federal Agencies 

The first extension of the activities of infant centers into rural 
districts became possible when a few states formed bureaus of 
child hygiene about 1913 to 1917. The conferences conducted 
under such state auspices were largely ambulatory, although in 
most instances communities were urged to maintain permanent 
centers if possible. From 1918 to 1922, bureaus were created in 
many additional states. 

a. Federal Aid. In the meantime the United States Children's 
Bureau had been created by Act of Congress in 1912. Its studies of 
infant mortality in typical American communities were a great 
stimulus to the work against maternal and infant mortality in both 
rural and urban areas. The Children's Bureau outfitted and sent 
into rural districts a "Child Welfare Special" a motor truck 
equipped as a clinic. This truck created great interest for miles 
about whenever it drove into a school yard or a courthouse yard. 
Mothers brought their babies and preschool children, eager for the 
examinations and advice from the physicians and nurses. 

In 1921 -Congress passed what is known as the Sheppard-Towner 
Bill, "An Act for the promotion of the welfare and hygiene of 
maternity and infancy and for other purposes." This Act pro- 
vided slightly over a million dollars per annum as federal aid to 
those states which matched the government appropriation. The 
administration of this Act was made the responsibility of the 
Children's Bureau. 

6. Conferences. The provisions of the Act have been accepted 
by all but three of the states, and by Hawaii. The work carried 
on has been aimed at the need of the rural areas, and its major 
objective has been education of parents. A regular schedule of 
health conferences has been carried out in many of the states. The 
procedure in these conferences is similar to what has already been 
outlined for a typical center. As in all welfare centers, the primary 
object is education of parents, and the results secured are in direct 
proportion to the skill of physicians, nurses, and other workers in 
developing a technique for this. 

c. Demonstrations. An interesting development of maternity 
and infant welfare center work is the launching of a number of 
county-wide demonstrations with county nurses for follow-up. 


Practically every county which has a full-time health unit features 
maternity and infancy definitely in its public health program. 

The health demonstrations conducted under the auspices of 
certain foundations are including, as a vital part of a coordinated 
public health program, prenatal, infant, and preschool health work 
in which parental education plays the major part. Among these 
may be cited the demonstrations under the Commonwealth Fund 
(including Fargo, North Dakota; Rutherford County, Tennessee; 
Clark County, Georgia; and Marion County, Oregon) ; health demon- 
strations conducted by the Milbank Memorial Fund in -Cattaraugus 
County, New York, and Syracuse, N. Y.; and the metropolitan 
demonstration coordinating the health activities in the Bellevue- 
Yorkville District of New York City. 

In 1925 a Maternity Nursing Service was established in Tioga 
County, New York, under the joint direction of the New York 
State Department of Health and the Maternity Center Association. 
It is an example of the extension of work into the rural commu- 
nities made possible by the Sheppard-Towner appropriations. Four 
centers were established, and the type of service developed by the 
Maternity Center Association in New York, including group in- 
struction of mothers, was carried over with some modifications into 
the rural district. 

The nursing demonstration in prenatal care conducted in Rich- 
land County, Ohio, during a three-year period, 1924 to 1926, is 
another example of the use of Sheppard-Towner funds for intensive 
work in a rural community. The emphasis was upon prenatal in- 
struction, and the results in lowered maternal and infant mortality 
point to the enormous value of the program. 


Maternity and infant welfare centers offer great possibilities for 
the education of parents. Starting with their main objective the 
saving of infant lives they have progressed to a stage where they 
are directing their efforts toward the best possible development of 
the young child. Such education is wielding an influence among 
an increasing number of parents in the large cities and in the rural 
areas through county-wide and state-wide activities. 

The tendency in this country, however, is away from the policy 
of including all classes of society in the education promoted by 


maternity and infant centers followed in some countries. The use 
of economic status as a basis for eligibility for service limits the 
influence of this educational program to the poor in many of our 
centers. In the work carried on by state departments, however, this 
line has not been drawn, though emphasis has been placed on refer- 
ence of mothers to private physicians for supervision and corrective 

There is a difference of opinion concerning the advisability of 
such limitation. Some hold that the instruction in the hygiene of 
pregnancy and child care received at the centers should be made 
available to all women without regard to their social or economic 
status, especially since the programs of our educational systems 
have not included instruction of this sort until very recently and 
even now in relatively few places. These advocates of the extension 
of the influence of these centers to all groups point to the record 
made by New Zealand in the lowering of its maternal and infant 
death rate where the education in maternal and child hygiene con- 
ducted at centers and through visits of nurses in the home has 
been promoted through all classes of society. On the other hand, 
there are those in this country who see in this policy a tendency 
towards state medicine which they fear will interfere with the 
progress of medical science. 

The maternity and infant hygiene program of the center may 
become the first level in the physical hygiene program of the com- 
munity which is later carried on by the public school. The demon- 
strations already referred to serve as examples of a coordinated 
community health program. The record of physical status, of 
diseases, immunization, corrections, and of growth and health habits 
that results from the continuous supervision maintained by the 
center furnishes a wealth of information which should be made 
available to the school as the child enters the kindergarten or first 
grade. There is little question that the knowledge obtained at a 
well-conducted center concerning the physical, social, and mental 
habits of the child and his family, if drawn upon by the school, 
would throw light on many a problem of physical inadequacy or 
social or mental maladjustment within the school. 

The home which has been under the guidance of a center usually 
develops an intelligent attitude toward medical supervision which 
may be of value to the school in its program of physical care and 


health education, and the school's contact with the home and its 
program of parental education may be aided greatly by contacts 
already made by the center and the information there assembled. 

Coordinating the work of maternity and infant centers with 
social and educational programs within the community promises 
many desirable results. The service in physical care and education 
in physical hygiene which such centers are equipped to render may 
be drawn upon by day nurseries, nursery schools, and children's 
institutions, thus avoiding a duplication of service or a lack of an 
adequate program of physical care on the part of such institutions. 
The day nursery, the nursery school, or the children's institution 
may in turn become a laboratory in which the children may be 
observed and studied and the recommendations made at the child 
health center carried out. 

The activities of certain centers have been expanded to promote 
education in child care and training in vocational schools and 
colleges; special groups of teachers, nurses, and physicians also 
receive instruction so that they in turn may lead parent groups. 
These centers offer special opportunities as teaching centers for the 
training of nursery-school and kindergarten teachers. Such an ex- 
tension of the work of the center widens the influence of its pro- 
gram and bridges the gap between its specialized service and the 

The centers are developing as training places in preventive 
medicine in some sections, and the plan commends itself as an im- 
portant type of coordination of their service with educational pro- 
grams. For example, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, a 
prenatal center is developed to train undergraduate medical stu- 
dents in prenatal care. A physician from the University Medical 
School conducts the clinical work and the State Health Depart- 
ment has detailed a maternity and infancy nurse to the center. 

The same type of center is conducted in Portland, Oregon, by 
Oregon University, where nursing service is supplied by the State 
Department of Health. A charge of $5 to $15 is made if a patient 
can pay. The service serves the dual purpose of teaching prenatal 
care to the undergraduate students in the obstetrical course and 
giving prenatal care and education to the expectant mother. It is 
interesting to note that Oregon's maternal mortality rate was 74 
per 10,000 live births in 1921 and had declined to 59 in 1926. 


There is an opportunity in the program of the maternity and 
infant center for a more comprehensive course of instruction than 
is now commonly found. Budgeting, home management, cooking, 
standards of adult as well as child health, sanitation, and home 
hygiene, and the fundamentals of public health protection might 
be added to the course of instruction in certain of the centers at 
least. The contact made so naturally through the mother's interest 
in the physical progress of her child can be used as a means of 
promoting individual and group instruction on these subjects in- 
directly connected with the individual child's needs and of very 
great importance to the health of the family. -Child training, prac- 
tical instruction on home play, and recreation are also features for 
consideration in such a course. 

There is a trend toward including in the work of the maternity 
and infant centers a mental health, as well as a physical health, 
program with the emphasis in education on child training as well 
as child care. The possibilities in such a coordinated program are 
very great, indeed. Observations on the child's reaction to food, 
his play activities, habits of rest, his natural posture, his adjustment 
to other children, have been carried out in some child conferences, 
either by special provision by the center itself of space properly 
equipped or through cooperation with a nursery school. This en- 
larged program, either under the auspices of the maternal and 
infant centers or through cooperative arrangements with agencies 
equipped to render psychiatric and educational service, offers a 
rich opportunity for education of the preschool child and his 


The following references have been selected for those who wish 
to read further concerning maternity and infant welfare centers. 

Abt, Issac A. "A survey of international movement concerning 1 infant 
welfare." Illinois Medical Journal, n. s. 17 : 1910, 428-434. 

Allen, Cora S. "The itinerant conference as an advance agent in de- 
veloping permanent centers." Public Health Nurse, 19: 1927, 

Baker, S. Josephine. "Problems in connection with the administration 
of well baby clinics." Public Health Nurse, 18: 1926, 329-332 (con- 
tribution to a symposium). 


Bradley, Frances Sage and Sherbon, Florence Brown. How to Conduct 

a Children's Health Conference. Washington: Government, 1917. 

(United States Children's Bureau Publication, No. 23.) 
Campbell, Janet M. Protection of Motherhood. London: His Majesty's 

Stationery Office, 1927. 
Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. Report on the Physical Welfare of 

Mothers and Children. London: Trust, 1917, pp. 79-113. 
Commonwealth Fund Child Health Demonstration Committee. Child 

Health and County Health, Rutherford County, Tennessee. New 

York: Committee, 1927, pp. 14-16. 
Commonwealth Fund Child Health Demonstration Committee. Child 

Health in Marion County, Oregon. New York: Committee, 1927, 

PP. 5-7- 

Commonwealth Fund Child Health Demonstration Committee Demon- 
strating Child Health, 1923-102?. New York: Committee, 1927, 
pp. n-30. 

Curtis, Robert D. "Standards and methods for health work among chil- 
dren of preschool age." Transactions, Annual Meeting American 
Association for Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality, n : 1920, 

Dacey, Phyllis M and Bolt, Richard A. "Problems in connection with 
the administration of well baby clinics." Public Health Nurse, 17: 
I 9 2 5? 377-379 (contribution to a symposium). 

Deming, Dorothy. "Problems in connection with the administration of 
well baby clinics." Public Health Nurse, 17: 1925, 137-138 (con- 
tribution to a symposium). 

Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund. Report of Activities under the 
She ppard-T owner Act in Nine States. Chicago : Fund, 1928. 

Heaton, Beatrice and Johnson, Inez. "Maternity service in a rural com- 
munity." Public Health Nurse, 19: 1927, 599-601. 

Holt, L Emmett "Early organizations to save infant life." Transac- 
tions, Annual Meeting American Association for Study and Preven- 
tion of Infant Mortality, 4: 1913, 39-54. 

Knox, J. H Mason. "Problems in administration of well baby clinics." 
Public Health Nurse, 17: 1925, 199-200 (contribution to a 

Leete, Harriet L. "Problems in connection with the administration of 
well baby clinics." Public Health Nurse, 17: 1925, 475-476 (con- 
tribution to a symposium). 

McGill, Nettie. Infant Welfare Work in Europe. Washington: 1921. 
(United States Children's Bureau Publication, No. 76.) 

"New routines in mother and baby care." Public Health Nurse, 19 : 1927, 

6i S . 

Pagaud, Mary V. "Problems in connection with the administration of 
well baby clinics." Public Health Nurse, 17: 1925, 17-19 (contri- 
bution to a symposium). 


Radford, Maitland. "The Shoreditch model welfare center." Child 
(London), 14: 1924, 257-261. 

Rand, Winifred. "Problems in connection with the administration of 
well baby clinics." Public Health Nurse, 17: 1925, 256-258 (con- 
tribution to a symposium). 

Roche, Mary Margaret. "Problems in administration of well baby 
clinics" Public Health Nurse, 17: 1925, 417-419 (contribution to 
a symposium). 

Russell, Alys. "The first school for mothers comes of age." National 
Health (England) 21 : 1928, 8-14. 

Schereschewsky, J. W. "Present status of infant welfare work in the 
United States." Transactions, Annual Meeting American Society 
for Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality, 2: 1911, 39-46. 

Schoeneck, H. W. "Prenatal clinics in Syracuse." Milbank Memorial 
Fund Quarterly Bulletin, 5 : 1927, 73-78 

Third English- Speaking Conference on Infant Welfare. Report of the 
Proceedings. London : National League for Health, Maternity, and 
Child Welfare, 1924, pp 70-82. 

United States Children's Bureau Children's Health Centers Washing- 
ton 1918.' (Children's Bureau Publication, No. 45.) 

United States Children's Bureau The Promotion of the Welfare and 
Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy Washington' 1928. (Chil- 
dren's Bureau Publication No 186 ) 

United States Children's Bureau Standards for Physicians Conducting 
Conferences in Child-Health Centers. Washington Government, 
1926 (Children's Bureau Publication, No. 154 ) 

United States Children's Bureau. Standard* of Prenatal Care an Out- 
line for the Use of Physicians. Washington. 1925. (Children's 
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Veeder, Borden S. "Problems in connection with the administration of 
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xln order to understand the behavior of children, either in the 
nursery, home, school, or elsewhere, we must interpret their be- 
havior in terms of past experiences as well as in terms of present 
physical, intellectual, and emotional life. It is necessary to keep in 
mind how closely related and dependent upon each other are the 
child's mental and the child's physical life. Serious and irreparable 
errors may ensue if there is lacking a most careful and painstaking 
clinical examination, as well as the necessary laboratory tests 
essential to revealing those physical conditions which are often at 
the basis of conduct disorders. 

Therefore, a clinic which is concerned with child guidance and 
parental education demands the highest type of medical, psycho- 
logical, and social personnel. Here one has to make a diagnosis and 
prescribe treatment on the basis of data that are often acquired 
hurriedly and under conditions less favorable than prevail when 
the patient is in a hospital. Furthermore, to the clinic come those 
cases whose problems are frequently less well-defined because of 
their incipient stage, yet more responsive to wise management for 
the same reason. 

There are different types of clinics operated throughout the 
country dealing with various aspects of the child's life. Most of 
them are primarily concerned with the physical Ijfe^pf the child 
and ignore entirely other aspects. In more recent years, clinics 
which deal almost exclusively with problems of learning and edu- 
cation have been organized as part of the school system. A third 
type of clinic, and one that promises to pave the way for a better 
understanding of the child, is the so-called * * child guidance clinic, ' ' 
which aims to study the child as a living organism^trying to adjust 
itself to its environment and its manifold problems. It is from 
this last group that we may expect to gain a better understanding 
of the child as a whole and to comprehend more clearly the inter- 



play that exists between the physical, the intellectual, and the 
emotional aspects of the child's life. 

Any approach to behavior problems of childhood which features 
intellectual equipments or inferiority complexes or adenoids and 
tonsils or any single factor to the exclusion of other important 
factors is not only doomed to failure as an institution for child 
welfare, but is also certain to do much damage to the individual 

1. Importance of Preschool Hygiene 

With all the interest in the child which has developed during 
this century and the latter part of the last, the period of life from 
two to five years^of age _had > "until recently, been neglected. The 
awaEening of popular interest in this important period has given 
impetus to a vast educational problem. 

During the preschool period physical and mental casualties 
often occur which handicap the individual throughout his life. 
This is a most important period for the development of a sound 
body and wholesome physical and mental habits. Hygiene of the 
preschool years is of threefold nature nutritional, physical, and 
mental. The three must be coordinated to develop the child as a 

The hygiene of the early years requires cooperation with the 
parent, the church, the school, the community, the health depart- 
ment, and welfare organizations. All of this is of an educational 
nature largely education of the parents in the needs of the grow- 
ing child, since it is the task of the parents to guide the toddler 
in its first grasp of the problems of life. 

2. Present Activities 

a. General Statement. Included among the varied agencies de- 
voted to this program are health clinics. Thejtealth clinic was pri- 
marily established for prenatal and infant care. The expectant 
mother with other children found it difficult to visit the clinic unless 
she took the toddler with her. Gradually, it became apparent that 
this furnished an opportunity to include the preschool child in its 


However, it must be said that the program for preschool child 
hygiene has not yet developed into any definite form. At present 
the work consists mainly of the physical examination of the child 
and of the giving of advice as to the correction of physical and 
nutritional defects. 

ft. Extent of Health Clinics. In the course of the survey, by 
the American Child Health Association, of 86 cities whose popula- 
tions ranged from 40,000 to 70,000, scattered over 31 states, some 
interesting facts were brought out. 

Seventy of these cities had clinics devoted to maternal and 
infant hygiene. Fifty-two included the preschool child in the pro- 
gram of the work of these clinics. One-half of the clinics were 
managed by private organizations, and only 17 by the official health 

In 1923 the United States Public Health Service surveyed the 
health department practice of 100 large cities of the United States, 
each city having over 70,000 population. Definite signs of progress 
were noted since the 1920 survey. Seventy-two of these cities had 
provisions for clinical study of the preschool child under official 
health agencies. Voluntary agencies provided means in the other 
28 cities. 

c. Broadening the Program. Several cities for instance, Bos- 
ton, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, and New York 
have shown a real progressive spirit. Special training in child 
behavior problems is one of the requirements of the supervisor. 
This shows the trend of the preschool program not only to teach 
the mother the physical needs, but also to aid her in her difficulties 
with the behavior of the child. This awakening of popular interest v 
in the whole problem of the child seems to be the most important 
development of the program. A child guidance clinic is used for 
the special behavior problems. 

d. An Outstanding Center. A clinic, or center, which has done 
very constructive work during the last year is the Bast Harlem 
Nursing and Health Demonstration. It has had under its care a 
population of approximately 6,000 children from one to five years 
of age. It started in 1923 with an organized preschool service. The 
one principle subscribed to was that education of the mother in the 
home should be the starting point of tne ! Health work of preschool 


children. They give tkeLname of " clinic" to a medical conference; 
it does not seem reasonable to limit the meaning* "of "the "word 
"clinic" to a building permanently devoted to clinical work. 
Medical findings at the conference or clinic open the way to the 
nurse for home work with the mother and child. Interest of the 
mother in the welfare of the preschool child depends on the char- 
acter of this home visiting. The entire facilities of the clinic for 
nutritional, physical, and mental hygiene are used to this end. 

In addition, group instruction is given to mothers on the general 
problem of child welfare. Apparently, only the more intelligent 
mothers develop sufficient interest in child care to continue this 
class study. But by this means more enlightened mothers are scat- 
tered throughout the community. This method of reaching the 
mothers and children has also been adopted by the bureaus of child 
hygiene of many of the state departments of health. 

e. Conferences. The annual report of the Children's Bureau 
for 1927 shows that there were 2,686 conferences held in 19 different 
states. These itinerant conferences were of educational value, as 
they attracted the interest of mothers to the needs of the runabout 
child. The conferences have led to the development of more per- 
manent centers, and the word ' ' clinic" can be appropriately applied 
to this type of conference. During the year 1927, 283 new health 
centers were established in 43 states. Of these centers, 135 were 
combined with prenatal and child health centers, 140 were child 
health centers, and 8 were prenatal centers. The center which 
considers the child problem from conception to school age would 
seem to be the preferable one. Many of these permanent centers 
have been taken over by the community, independent of state aid 
except for advisory visits and contributions of literature and 

3. Eural Developments 

In the development of health in rural areas the county health 
unit plays a very important part. There are now about 337 full- 
time county health units in the United States. This development 
has been fostered by the United States Public Health Service. It 
is now generally agreed that permanent public health work in a 
community, especially in the rural sections, can best be carried on 
by the county health unit, with the aid of advice and literature 


from the state and federal governments. The trained county health 
officer and nurses offer a stable organization for rural child welfare 
work. The securing of community financial support of an organ- 
ized county health unit is an educational problem of some moment. 
The United States Children's Bureau has offered an outline for 
group study of child welfare which should be of material aid in 
developing this important field. 

The mobile clinic for the preschool child has been used in 
several states under the direction of the state health department 
with federal financial aid. This is an educational experiment to 
arouse the interest of parents in isolated communities which, may be 
reached in no other way. The mobile clinic carries a physician and 
nurse and is equipped with a room for physical examination. 
Motion pictures, slides, exhibits, and literature are used as educa- 
tional aids. 


A mental hygiene clinic is an agency organized for the study 
and treatment of behavior problems. In its preventive work it is 
particularly interested in children. The physician, often assisted 
by the psychologist and the social worker, endeavors to help the 
child to attain a healthy mental development or to guard against 
the more serious problems of human behavior, such as mental dis- 
order and delinquency, by dealing with the beginnings of unhealthy 
behavior. These beginnings are shown chiefly by failure of the 
child to get along with others, with his parents (tantrums, run- 
ning away, faulty habits), his teachers (failure, truancy), and his 
companions (sensitiveness, seclusiveness, stealing, cruelty). 

1. Growth of the Clinic Approach to Education 

The evolution and national spread of mental hygiene clinics for 
children has been an interesting process. In 1909, when Healy 
began the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute in Chicago, his was the 
only organization of its type. The social and psychiatric back- 
ground for the work existed, but this plan of organization was a 
decided step forward. The influence of this newly discovered field 
for science and technical skill spread slowly at first, so that by 
1915 the total work of this sort barely doubled the work done in 


1910 by Healy alone. But by 1920 it had increased fivefold, and 
by 1925, with the added impetus given it by the Judge Baker Foun- 
dation and the Commonwealth Fund program for the prevention 
of delinquency, the work had reached an extent twenty times that 
carried on by Healy in the beginning. 

Meanwhile, within the clinic, a process of stabilization was 
occurring. The different staff members were finding how they 
could make their greatest contribution and were learning to co- 
ordinate their efforts. The aims of these clinics went through a 
series of changes. They demonstrated first the justification of their 
work as a means of understanding and treating disorders of human 
behavior. The treatment of behavior problems was considerably 
hampered until they came to see themselves not doing the job alone, 
but doing it through the community and requiring good community 
facilities to help the clinics' endeavors. As in all other problems 
of human distress, here also the start was made with the grosser 
problems, but it became increasingly evident that prevention re- 
quires recognition of early stages or prodromal danger signals. 
Danger signals are always so many more than the casualties that 
to make them an object of attack increased the work many fold. 

2. Approaches to the Education of Parents 

This concept of dealing with beginnings increased the problem 
of maintaining mental health far beyond the capacity of any clinic, 
and, reversing the previous situation, made of the clinic an agency 
to help the community do its job rather than an agency to be helped 
by the community to handle a few children. The clinic, through its 
function of community education and organization, had to gird 
the community just as our other public health endeavors have done. 

Obviously, to be preventive, the educational work must eventu- 
ally reach parents. How to reach parents most effectively, how- 
ever, has been less obvious. They could be approached either 
directly by the clinic or on the other hand indirectly by reaching 
those who have a close relationship with parents, i.e., schools, social 
agencies, medical profession, and clergy. 

Just as dealing with every danger signal was beyond the capacity 
of any clinic, so the direct approach to teaching all parents or even 
those parents in need of help was an impossibility for the clinic 
alone. It came to be appreciated that the indirect approaches 


reaching persons of higher average training and intelligence and 
with a professional interest, were the most efficient paths toward 
the educational goal of the clinic. Given a clinic having connec- 
tions with an enlightened school system, social-work system (includ- 
ing courts), and medical profession, the parents would be subjected 
to a far greater and more continuous influence than any clinic could 
exert directly upon parents. At the same time, the direct contact 
with parents by the clinic was not necessarily eliminated. Direct 
parental education was just reduced to a position of .secondary 
importance in the planning of fEose clinics which were in a posi- 
tion to carry out the indirect education. With other clinics the 
parent and child continued to be the immediate interest. 

Some clinics are in a much more strategic position for commu- 
nity education than are others, and the educational program has to 
be fitted to the plan of organization and closest community contacts 
of the clinic. A clinic organized as a part of a public-school system 
can approach parents indirectly through the teacher better than 
it could as a part of a city hospital. 

Clinics are organized differently because cities differ both in 
their degree of social development and in the place of birth of 
interest in a clinic. In one place there will be a well-developed 
school system with little else in the community to sponsor the mental 
health of children ; in another the social agencies or hospitals have 
made relatively more progress. Elsewhere, both may be well- 
developed, but the initiative for a mental hygiene clinic has arisen 
in some quarter that gives it entirely different color than if it had 
developed elsewhere. 

3. Varieties in Clinic Organization 

a. From -the Standpoint of Supervision. Clinics consequently 
vary from city to city, so that any estimate of their work and any 
plan for their operation must be made in the light of the whole 
situation locally, rather than according to what some competing 
city has planned or is doing. A short review of the variety of 
clinics will emphasize the point that many different community in- 
fluences produce many different clinics. 

Most clinics are medically directed. Others are under the (Jirec- 
tion of psychologists. Some of these have nevertheless tnedieal 


consultation. Of those under medical supervision, the greater 
number are conducted by psychiatrists. A few have been developed 
by pediatricians. They correspond in nature to the habit clinics 
(as those conducted in Minneapolis), dealing largely with very 
young children, or to the child guidance clinic, as the Mt. Sinai 
Children's Health Class. 

b. From the St&ndpoint of Affiliations. Some of the mental 
hygiene clinics have found it advantageous to associate themselves 
with existing agencies, such as schools, courts, social agencies, 
psychiatric hospitals, general hospitals or dispensaries, or with in- 
stitutions of one sort or another. Their internal organization and 
aims may correspond to any one of the different types of community 
clinics detailed below, but their connection definitely colors their 
program. Some of the state hospitals have organized the mental 
hygiene work of their district through an extra-mural program in- 
cluding clinics. 

Other clinics have been organized as independent units. A few 
with a less intensive local program, a greater national influence, 
and a greater interest in professional teaching and research than 
in parent education partake more of the nature of institutes. The 
Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago, the Judge Baker Foun- 
dation in Boston, and the Institute for Child Guidance in New 
York -City are of this type. Of course, on their cases they inevitably 
do carry through a certain amount of direct parental and child edu- 
cation and through their contacts do a great deal for the children 
of the whole community in an indirect way. 

The Institute of Juvenile Research in Chicago conducts a pre- 
school branch as its contribution to a cooperative health center 
plan. Several agencies interested in child welfare unite with Hull 
House in working out this scheme. The objectives of this pre- 
school branch are essentially those of a child guidance clinic, em- 
phasizing particularly community education. The clinic holds 
sessions at several places, especially three nursery schools, a relation- 
ship which provides not only clinical cases but also opportunities 
for observation and treatment, and facilities for training. For the 
parent, the clinic not only provides an examining and treating ser- 
vice but also guides him in his normal responsibilities for his child 
and warns him of pitfalls that he is apt to encounter. 


c. From the Standpoint of Program. In addition, there is a 
type of clinic or institute, such as Yale Psycho-Clinic, designed not 
so much for individual service with unusual cases as for research 
with normal children. Research is the prime essential; service is 
incidental. The object is rather to learn more about children than 
to advise about them, although necessarily a certain amount of 
educational work with parents and children is woven into their 
research activities. 

Other independent community developments are, on the one 
hand, of the nature of child guidance clinics where the psychiatrist, 
psychologist, and psychiatric social worker jointly work on the 
problems of relatively few cases of children. Sometimes this or a 
modified form of it is associated with adult work in a general mental 
hygiene clinic. The Psychological Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky, 
is of this type. With the few cases studied and great intensity of 
the study, this type of clinic works most efficiently and extensively 
with parents and children indirectly. 

On the other hand, there are the habit clinics, as operated in 
Boston, working on earlier and more circumscribed problems in 
greater number and with smaller staff (including the nurse) which 
see many parents and children. They can do much more with the 
direct approach to parents because of their numerous contacts and 
the simpler problems, but less with indirect education because of 
their relatively fewer cases involving the social, school, and court 
work. Since the habit clinic does use a briefer method of study, 
it is essential that it guard against the dangers of short cuts. 

In spite of this attempt at classification there are no hard and 
fast lines between the types ; they are types, and very few adhere 
entirely to type. They likewise all do some of each kind of edu- 
cational work. It is largely a matter of stress. Aside from the 
path it takes, the intensity of the educational work of course varies 
further, depending on whether the clinics are part-time or full- 
time, volunteer or paid, stationary or traveling. 

4. Clinic Procedure 

a. Admission of Cases. Cases are referred from many different 
sources, but a large percentage comes from the various organized 
public agencies: nurseries, nursery schools, kindergartens, chil- 
dren's departments of general hospitals, juvenile courts, public 


schools, and public health, nurses. Private physicians and parents 
also apply directly for assistance. 

b. Social Investigation. The social worker makes the first con- 
tact with the parent and the home and acquires from other sources, 
such as the physician or teacher, all the information which has any 
bearing on the child's program. She also investigates all possible 
facilities that ought to be utilized in the treatment of the case. 

c. Physical Examination. Physical examination is the first and 
perhaps the most important aspect of any attempt at rehabilitation, 
whether it be child or adult. We cannot afford to assume that any 
groups of symptoms, whether they be physical or mental, have a 
functional basis until a careful clinical examination, with the neces- 
sary laboratory tests, has been thoroughly carried out. 

The physical examination gives the parent and family assur- 
ance that a scientific approach is being made to the problem, even 
if the findings are negative. Frequently, it brings out some physical 
factor which is the cause, at least in part, of the patient's poor 
adaptation to life. 

No well-trained physician would consider, for a moment, utiliz- 
ing psychotherapy unless he had reasonable assurance that every 
possible organic condition had been determined. 

The question of where this examination should be made 
whether at the clinic or by a private physician or at some other 
medical center is not ' important, so long as the one who is to 
treat the case has confidence that the physical examination has been 
carried out in a scientific manner. 

d Psychological Examination. The psychologist first sees the 
patient when he comes to the clinic. Besides giving an intelli- 
gence test, he makes a careful investigation of the child's intellectual 
life, and interprets his findings in terms of memory, judgment, 
reasoning, perseverance, and educability. The child's responses 
to practical and abstract situations are also evaluated. His learn- 
ing ability, as well as the opportunities that his environment has 
furnished for learning, is given careful consideration. A psy- 
chologist is not simply a 'tester' whose findings are measured in 
terms of intelligence quotients. He measures and evaluates all 
factors which might affect the intelligence. 

e. Psychiatric Interview. With the social history, the physical 
findings, and the psychologist's report before him, the psychiatrist 


interviews the parent in an effort to secure more information con- 
cerning the specific behavior difficulty, as well as the attitude, 
knowledge, and behavior of the parent and other members of the 
family. With young children the psychiatrist cannot work as 
directly, but must depend more upon his contact with the parents. 
However, the psychiatrist meets the child, talks to him, and in the 
case of the child from three years on does a great deal of direct 
work with him. 1 

/. Interpretation of Findings. With all this information con- 
cerning the social, physical, mental, and emotional background of 
the patient available, a thorough study can be made of the prob- 
lem. With the cooperation of the various members of the staff, 
the director correlates and interprets the material. A plan of treat- 
ment is outlined which is usually supervised directly by the social 
worker, who at all times has direct communication with the re- 
sources of the clinic and the child's environment. 

5. Standards of Work 

It is important that a superficial clearing up of symptoms be 
not mistaken for evidence ,of sound scientific work. One reason that 
preventive psychiatry has become more and more social psychiatry, 
one reason that hypnosis or suggestion or any of its less frank dis- 
guises cults, fads, quackish practices has not achieved the stand- 
ing that its apparent results would promise, is that human behavior 
is recognized as a result of a person and a setting, Often the 
behavior problem may be cleared up by treating only the person. 
Such results are, as a rule, temporary, and the difficulties recur 
later in another form. 

This is a danger that is apt to come with attempts to treat cases 
on any point of view short of an individual study. It is a danger 
to which imitators of habit clinics are peculiarly subject. In one 
such so-called "habit clinic," the children are regularly treated 
none too gently with hypodermic injections of sterile water for 
everything from stammering to enuresis. Such forms of camou- 
flaged punishment and suggestion have a minus value to the child 

1 For a detailed report of an interview between a psychiatrist and a parent 
see Thorn, D. A. Habit Climes for the Child of Preschool Age. "Washington, 
IX C.: Children ?s Bureau, IT. S. Department of Labor, Publication No. 135, 
1924, pp. 6-11. 


and the parent and are injurious to the fine type of work rendered 
by real habit clinics. The habit clinic is a great opportunity for 
the pediatrician to bring psychiatric progress into his special field, 
but he must be a careful pediatrician. In places, e.g., Minneapolis, 
this opportunity has been realized and the service developed to 
quite a considerable degree. 

6. Technique of Educational "Work 

Whether direct or indirect, the educational work of a clinic has 
a certain limited set of techniques. For professional education such 
as our institutes conduct, the method of the interneship (supervised 
practical work) or of the graduate student (a prescribed program) 
is largely employed, whereas other clinics have only limited need 
for these methods. The educational work of a clinic is done chiefly 
through clinical case work, through lectures, or through printed 

a. Clinical Case Work as a Means to Education. Special train- 
ing methods are sometimes employed by the clinic in order in- 
directly to deal with a child or a group. Where a special disability 
is discovered through the clinic examinations, e.g., special reading 
defect, it is sometimes possible for the clinic to carry out or super- 
vise the carrying out of corrective tutoring. Speech correction 
work is similarly conducted. The waiting room of the clinic gives 
opportunity for special recreational training. All these yield re- 
sults, not only through the child who is playing and the parent who 
is watching, but also through the volunteers and others who are 
assisting the special worker. The Children's Health Class at Mt. 
Sinai Hospital, New York City, conducts a special kindergarten 
in which the training methods are given attention and are brought 
directly to the attention of parents. Through health classes these 
and other problems are brought directly before a large number of 
variously interested people. 

Considering the small number of cases that are examined in 
some clinics, it is evident that some other motive than mere clinical 
service exists. This motive lies in the educational opportunity that 
is found in handling the case. The examination and treatment 
outlined for the patient bring to the family the things that the 
clinic considers important for the healthier idea of family relation- 


ships and family life. When the clinic calls upon the teacher 
for assistance, its explanation of the patient's problem and of 
the part that the school can take in improving the patient's 
mental health influences the teacher not only in behalf of the child 
in question but also in behalf of all of her children and of the 
atmosphere and organization of her classroom. This, of equrse, 
assumes that the clinic has successfully cooperated with the teacher. 
What is said of the teacher may be said of the whole staff of the 
school. In its contacts with the social worker, the clinic similarly 
handles for the agency one situation of which there are many 
duplicates constantly arising in the agency's work. With the court 
and with the family physician, the clinic makes the case do an 
educational job in exactly the same way. Even beyond the list of 
facts and mental hygiene principles dealt with in an individual 
ease, an interest is stimulated which results frequently in further 
spontaneous study on the part of the parent or professional worker. 
It may be said that everyone who is called upon to discuss or help 
treat a case is subjected to an educational attack. 

For a more extensive and deeper contribution the clinical case 
conference offers an effective educational instrument. In the 
clinical case conference a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychiatric 
social worker bring together their studies and interpretations, unify 
them, and draw from them a common approach to treatment. 
Parents are practically never brought in on these conferences, 
rarely are friends. Frequently, professional workers come not only 
to listen to the discussion but to contribute to it as well. All those 
who attend these conferences from the outside have thereby an 
opportunity to appreciate the value of the different approaches that 
may be made in the examination of a case, the different interpreta- 
tions that are possible, and the plans of attack that are drawn from 

A more formal case conference is sometimes organized. This 
is not just a routine step in the case procedure, but is designed for 
teaching. A case already fully considered is selected for discussion 
again because it contains interesting features and because the case 
can be selected for peculiarities pertinent to the group to which it 
is presented. This presentation may be of the same form as the 
clinical case conference, or it may be the basis for a round-table 


discussion or seminar, a quiz or a lecture. At times several cases 
are used together to bring out several aspects of a certain point. 

6. Lectures. Lectures are a favorite method of educational 
work by clinics, and parent-teacher associations are the groups to 
which these lectures are most frequently given. The lectures may 
be explanatory of the clinic's working; they may be a general 
review of the aspects of the child's or parent's problems most 
pertinent to the group addressed, or they may be an extensive effort 
to drive home a single point. 

The radio is coining to be used more and more for this purpose. 
There is some question as to how much is gained by these occasional 
lectures. The greatest value probably lies in the interest they 
excite rather than in the equipping of the members of the audi- 
ence to deal better with their children or with their own personal 
problems. Such lectures might well be followed by directed study 
which will take advantage of the interest stimulated by the first talk. 

Course lectures can be directed better than single ones toward 
carrying over a certain point or group of ideas. In one clinic, each 
parent is given an explanation of his child's problem and instruc- 
tions for treatment, and other parents are present during this inter- 
viewing so that each of them hears some of the instructions given 
to the others. The detachment of these auditors from the case dis- 
cussed makes it possible for them to think more objectively and 
thus to benefit considerably. 

Sometimes the lecture courses are more definitely laid out and 
incorporated into a schedule of instruction in a college or school. 
Work along this line has been done with high-school pupils, not only 
dealing with their own problems but also preparing them to meet 
their future children's problems when they become parents. This 
educational work follows the lines common in general public health 
instruction. Mental hygiene clinics conducted in colleges, high 
schools, or preparatory schools have an obvious advantage for carry- 
ing out this sort of educational work. Doubtless, in many eases the 
pupil acts as an agent of the clinic in influencing parents, espe- 
cially if literature accompanies the instruction. 

c. Publications. Articles planned along the same lines as the 
lecture work are published as pamphlets or leaflets of the clinic or 
in periodicals. Certain of the magazines or newspapers reaching 


parents run regular series of mental hygiene articles, and one 
periodical for school children carries a similar feature. These 
articles are largely the products of clinic work. At times, it has 
been found advantageous to have these written up hy a layman 
who has talent for writing in a particularly interesting and re- 
vealing manner. 

One clinic has developed an interesting series of cartoons, each 
of which drives home to parents in an unmistakable way a point 
pertaining to their conduct toward their children. The approach 
offers considerable opportunity for further development. 



As the significance of the period of growth during the preschool 
years has become more apparent there has developed an increasing 
interest in establishing nursery schools. 1 A list compiled in 1924 
showed a total of 28 nursery schools in 11 states, whereas the list 
at the end of this chapter, compiled less than four years later, shows 
85 nursery schools located in 24 states and the District of Columbia. 
A study of these schools reveals wide variation in purpose and 
scope, in basic educational principles, in ideals and standards, and 
in working techniques, even though the ultimate djupa of all is to 
contribute to the development of children and society^ 

The particular purpose in the presentation of the material in 
this section of the Yearbook is to give a comprehensive and accurate 
view of certain nursery schools as these are pictured in action, each 
typical of some one of the various schools organized for the benefit 
of preschool children. 

It is one thing to give recognition to the educational significance 
of the needs of preschool children and to the importance of pro- 
viding for them. It is quite another to give constructive help to 
a movement purporting to meet these needs. Such help is necessary 
and will be available for those most interested in advancement in 
the field of preschool education only when the same critical exam- 
ination is given to nursery schools as is given to other experimental 
work in social welfare and progress. 

If the purpose mentioned be kept in mind it will be obvious 
(1) why the general committee made the selection of the particular 
schools listed, (2) why there was need for setting up an outline 
which would secure from these schools the needed data concerning 
the application of their educational principles, and (3) why it was 
considered important to have these data in the form of direct con- 
tributions from those most responsible for the interpretation of the 

1 For a history of the development of nursery schools see Ch. H. 



principles in operation and best fitted to give a description of the 
procedure in their schools. 

It was with great difficulty that the general committee made the 
selection of the fourteen nursery schools. It believes that these 
schools fairly represent in type the scope of work being done by 
institutions organized for the benefit of preschool children. Selec- 
tion was made on the basis of characteristic differences in aims, in 
conditions under which the schools operate, and in the form deter- 
mined by these conditions. Quality of work was in no instance 
used as the criterion for the selection of any school. The study of 
the material from each school makes clear the purpose and dis- 
tinctive features which characterize and define certain types. 
Priority of existence as an element in selection was given precedence 
whenever possible. This was done because the rapid growth in the 
number of nursery schools deserving recognition even during the 
period of this investigation by the Yearbook Committee made the 
matter of selection one of increasing difficulty. 

The Committee felt that studies made of these contributions 
would offer unlimited opportunities for evaluating the work of each 
school and the comparative importance of each type. The effort has 
been to present a picture of the school in action. However, the 
important relationship which the purpose of a school bears to its 
practice and the effect of other conditioning factors on what it is 
actually possible to do, seemed to be necessary items to include in 
the data from each school. Each contributor was asked to use the 
outline listed below, suggestive of the minimum topics to be covered. 

The contributors were instructed thus: "Use these suggestions 
as will best suit your purposes and as will emphasize the points 
which you believe are vital to the effective presentation of your 
work. We do not wish to have the topics which we have suggested 
limit you by indicating the organization of your materials/* 


I. Aims or purposes for which your nursery school was organized 
II. The fundamental educational convictions or theses which find in- 
terpretation in the activities of your school 
III. The plan of organization as it is reflected in 

a. The personnel of the staff 

b. The plan, playground, and equipment 

c. The program of activities 


d. The teaching technics 

e. The technics of cooperation with 

1. Specialists 

2. Parents 

(In this, please include such information concerning the 
types of homes of these children as will indicate the varia- 
tion in economic and social status) 

f. Other features affecting- organization 

1. Entrance requirements 

2. Number of children enrolled 

3. Length of school day 

4. Number of children to teacher 

5. Age range in each group 

6. Bases for group classification 

7. Other items 

IV. A brief descriptive statement and analysis of a typical learning 

situation in your school 

V. Your point of view concerning the importance of records and the 
way you provide for checking up on the various aspects of growth 

VI. The most distinctive feature of your nursery school or its outstand- 
ing contribution to the problem of early childhood education 

It may be noted that there is some variation in following the 
outline. This seems of small importance, however, in comparison 
to the high points discoverable because of the fact that the writers 
were free to express their ideas with slight limitation. 

The equipment lists, requested in the outline, have been re- 
organized and arranged in a composite form. 

The promptness with which plans, once formulated, had to be 
carried through placed the contributors to this section in a position 
where there was little choice for them to do otherwise than assume 
the task. The splendid spirit in which all cooperated is genuinely 
appreciated by the Committee, which feels that had it been profitable 
it would not have been possible to secure and organize this material 
in any other way. 

The Committee feels that the omission of the Nursery School of 
the Bureau of Educational Experiments in New York City from 
the list should be explained since it represents a type of organiza- 
tion, different from any of the others that were included, and be- 
cause it was one of the first nursery schools in the United States. 
The school was invited and urged to make a contribution, but it felt 


that the publication of Children, in the Nursery School 2 almost 
simultaneously with the Yearbook would make the section less 

Owing to the limitation of space, it is possible to give only a 
brief summary. It aims to indicate some of the problems which 
should be considered as a result of this study, and to state some of 
the conclusions which might be tentatively formulated as guides 
to be confirmed or discarded in the light of the more adequate evi- 
dence to which they lead the way. This summary will be found 
at the close of this section. 

1. Bowling Green Nursery School 3 

a. Purpose. Bowling Green Nursery School was organized in 
New York City by a group of Wall Street men as a department of 
the Bowling Green Neighborhood House. 

The Bowling Green Neighborhood House was founded and is 
maintained for two purposes. The first was that of giving the very 
best available in physical and educational care to the people of the 
community. The second was that of providing a demonstration 
center to which those planning new educational projects might 
refer for help in budgeting, equipping, and staffing their enter- 

Their aim was to combine the advantages of the nursery school 
with a day nursery for the Syrian children who compose the 
bulk of the nursery population. They desired that the children, 
from their early morning arrival until their return home in the 
evening, should be under the continual care of trained educational 
workers. This group of Wall Street business men, in their search 
for a means of realizing their ideals, turned for help in educational 
matters to the Child Education Foundation. The Foundation was 
invited to organize, equip, and staff their new nursery school. 

This the Child Education Foundation undertook, seeing in it 
an opportunity to make concrete and practical certain ideals of 
the all-day care of the child by trained educators. 

a Johnson, Harriet M. Children vn, the Nursery School. New York: John 
Day, 1928. Pp. xx, 325. 

8 This report is a revision of the report submitted by Barbara Hitchings, 
Director of the Bowling Green Nursery School. 

SCEOOL8 141 

6. Basic Educational Principles. The Child Education Foun- 
dation believes in purposeful 4 material for little children. The 
child under three has not enough experience to devise work which 
will carry out a purpose as an older child or adult can do. Montes- 
sori materials are used to carry out this plan and to put into prac- 
tice vital principles of character growth with very young children. 
Purposeful work is desirable because a sense of satisfaction comes 
from being able to complete a piece of work. This satisfaction is 
the foundation of courage in character, for when there is a possi- 
bility of accomplishing, it gives us an impetus to go on and to con- 
quer the difficulties. Along with the Montessori materials, the 
Foundation believes in giving the child a chance to experiment with 
play materials, finding that creative work is greatly helped by this 

c. Organization. The all-day program furnished by the Bowl- 
ing Green Neighborhood House provides many situations where it 
is possible to watch the working out of the principles just stated. 

The nursery school maintains a permanent staff of five: a 
director, and two trained teachers, a part-time teacher, besides a 
nursemaid and cook. Through the affiliation with the Child Edu- 
cation Foundation Training School, the nursery school has the 
benefit of student workers. 

The medical staff of the Health Center cooperates with the 
nursery school in giving the children thorough physical examina- 
tions once a month. Careful records are kept to show the change 
in physical condition. "When necessary, children are referred to the 
special clinics for cardiac, nutrition, alpine lamp, or dental care. 
The nursing staff also cooperates in investigating home conditions 
and advising the nursery school of all homes where there are young 
children. They also check up in the homes where there are absences, 
and cooperate with the parents in regard to the physical well-being 
of the child while in the nursery school. Posture work is given 
by an expert to individual children recommended by the doctor. 

4 The terra purposeful, as the literature of the Montessori movement indi- 
cates, is here used to refer to the fact that the materials are constructed with 
a definite purpose in mind, e.g., a form-board is so constructed that the child 
may learn to lace on it as an introduction to lacing his own shoes. The term 
purposeful is used by the Dewey school of philosophy to denote the child's 
purpose ; e.g., any piece of material is purposeful if the child uses it to satisfy 
a need in play life. Editor. 


Five rooms on the third floor are given over to the nursery 
school. These include a recreational room, a part of which is also 
the dining room. Here we find a very attractively furnished room 
with indoor play equipment: dolls and doll beds; carriages; dolls' 
wardrobe trunk with dress-up clothes ; all the necessaries for play- 
ing house; toy automobile trucks; trace blocks; handwork ma- 
terials crayons, scissors, clay, etc. This includes almost anything 
a child needs for socialized play, besides reading tables with books, 
settees, and little nooks where the child can play by himself. The 
chairs and tables are made to fit the children. In the cabinets are 
Montessori and other educational material which the child chooses 
and works with independently during the school period. There is 
the cloak room where all the children have their individual hangers 
and each family has its own compartment. The bathroom has the 
very low plumbing and fixtures for tiny children, a baby's bathtub 
and two large mirrors hung just the right height for the children. 
Each child has his own space for a folded towel, washcloth, and 
comb. These are known by symbols which mark all his possessions. 
Meals for the nursery are prepared in a kitchen equipped in the 
most scientific manner. 

The spacious roof off: the sixth fioor is used exclusively by the 
nursery school. Although seemingly hedged in by all the sky- 
scrapers in lower Manhattan, it has, nevertheless, a wonderful feel- 
ing of space and openness Each toy has its own place and is 
returned to that place when the child has finished playing with it. 
The children not only play on the roof but also sleep there the year 
round, under the open sky on pleasant days. The folding Detroit 
clinical cots are kept in cabinets made for them within the enclosure. 

Since this is a day nursery, as well as a nursery school, the day 
extends from 8:30 to 5:30, giving opportunity for a varied pro- 
gram of activity. The children are admitted from 8 :30 to 9 :00 in 
the morning, and each child is examined by the clinic nurse before 
he goes up to the nursery school. The group from 16 months to 
&V2 years, which comprises the younger group, goes to the roof at 
9 :00 o 'clock, having first had a dessertspoonful of unfavored cod- 
liver oil. At this time they make their beds for the morning nap. 
After the beds are made, they play until 30:00 o'clock, at which 
time they remove their shoes and put on Comfy slippers to sleep in. 
As each finishes, he sits down at the little tables and drinks a small 


glass of fruit juice. No formal occasion is made of this because it 
is time for each child to get into bed as soon as possible. 

Giving the younger group a nap from 10 :00 to 12 :15 helps the 
working mother solve the problem of putting the very young child 
to bed early at night. When the 18 months to 2-years-old child has 
had his nap in the morning (and he is always ready for it then) 
and has been active in the afternoon, he is ready to go to bed as 
soon as he gets home at night and needs no coaxing to go to sleep. 
The morning nap habit established at 18 months to 2 years carries 
over very successfully into the fourth year. However, it is difficult 
to establish the morning nap habit after 3 years of age, although it 
has been done successfully in individual cases. 

As the children awaken, about 12:15, they get up, fold up the 
blankets and sheets, return them to their own places in the cabinets, 
and go down to the nursery floor to prepare for lunch. The chil- 
dren hang up their wraps, and as each child finishes, he puts on his 
shoes, washes himself, and combs his hair for lunch. It is interest- 
ing, indeed, to observe these mere infants removing their towels and 
washcloths from their individual places, squeezing out the wash- 
cloth, peering into the mirrors to see if they have washed themselves 
clean, and after they have finished, folding up their towels and 
replacing them on the racks. Since towels hung by tapes are not a 
life experience, the children are taught to fold and hang them 
carefully in their own places on a towel rack. Each child knows 
just what he is to do and goes about his work calmly and confidently. 

Luncheon is at 1:00 for this group. The children lunch with, 
their teachers at the little tables in the dining room. They set and 
clear away their own tables an activity which demands a great 
deal of concentration and coordination of mind and body. As they 
finish, they go to the bathroom and make their daily bowel move- 
ment. Careful records are kept and are checked up with the 
mother. The children, after washing, are then ready for their 
school work. 

The school period extends from 2:15 to 3:45. During this 
period the child has the opportunity to choose his work, and to 
carry through to satisfaction whatever problem he chooses to work 
on without interruption. Materials in the environment are brooms, 
dust-pans, carpet sweepers, dusters, pitchers for carrying and 
pouring water, bowls used for washing tables and other objects, and 


brass polish. Besides these, there are folding and cutting materials 
and Montessori materials given according to the principles which 
they make practical. The directress is always ready to help when 
requested or when she sees she is needed. 

Next comes a twenty-minute music and rhythm period in the 
recreation room ; then it is time to prepare for supper. Two from 
this group set the supper tahles every day. They learn to place 
the doilies, glasses, and plates from their small trays. They pour 
out their own milk and place their individual napkin rings in 
their proper places. While this is being done, the other children 
play with toys or look at picture books. At 4 :30 supper is served. 
When they have finished and cleared their tables, they go into the 
recreation room until their parents call for them. 

The children from 4 to 6^/2 years enter and are examined by 
the clinic nurse from 8:30 to 9:00. After their dessertspoonful 
of cod-liver oil, they go into the school room (in charge of a senior 
student of Child Education Foundation), beginning their work at 
once. At nine o'clock Bentley rhythms and music are given to all 
who want them ; those who do not continue their work. The older 
ones have a responsibility of keeping some part of the environment 
in order. This responsibility is chosen once a week and gives the 
feeling of ownership and power over the environment. The rest of 
the morning is spent working with Montessori and other educa- 
tional material. At 11:00 three children from this older group 
put on their aprons and set the tables for all the children for lunch. 
From a cabinet where all the dishes, silver, glasses, etc., are arranged 
so that they can get them themselves, they select just the right num- 
ber of each article necessary to set their own tables. They take 
turns each week, so that every child in the group has his turn 
setting the tables. As soon as the dinner is ready to be served, about 
11 :45, they carry the bowls on their trays to the individual places. 
If they want second helpings, they serve themselves to whatever 
of the dinner they wish. They clear their own tables ; then each 
child puts on his hat and coat and goes by himself up three flights 
of stairs to the room. Here, under supervision of a teacher, he 
finds his bed, sets it up, and goes to bed. The afternoon nap is 
over at 2:30. When the shoes are laced and beds put away, he 
plays with outdoor equipment until it is time to prepare for supper 
at 4 :00. 


The parents are free to come in at any time to talk over prob- 
lems with the director. They usually take a few minutes when they 
come for the children. Most of the parents are foreign born 
Syrian, Greek, Slovak, Irish, and Armenian. They must place 
their children for the day where they will be well cared for, so that 
the mother can increase the family income. "We have no regular 
mothers' meetings; it is through the children themselves that we 
reach the mothers. 

The children are admitted because of economic, health, behavior 
or home-problem needs. We require a physical examination at the 
Health Center. In our interview with the parents before the child 
enters, we find out why the parent wishes to send the child. In 
most eases the need is purely economic ; in other cases the mother 
does not work, but realizes the advantage that the child will receive 
in the nursery school for development socially and physically. 
Often, the mother is mainly interested in having the child learn 
English. A nominal fee is charged, according to the economic 
status of the family. These fees rarely exceed a dollar a week. 
We urge regular attendance, ask that the child be accompanied by 
the parent in the morning, and that he stay until the child has 
been examined by the nurse. 

We have equipment for fifty children. The groups are classi- 
fied according to their mental age as far as possible. The younger 
group, ranging from 16 months to 3^ years, has a teacher and 
students; the older group, ranging from 4 to 5% years, has two 
teachers and a student. 

d. Typical Learning Situation. At 16 months the children 
begin to make their beds. The light canvas cots have casters on 
one end, so that by taking hold of the legs at the opposite end the 
children can roll the beds easily to their own places on the roof. 
They learn the places very readily, as one bed goes on each side 
of a door into the enclosures. When the beds are in place, each 
child takes his own blankets from his space in the cabinet marked 
with his particular symbol and carries them to his bed. Then just 
one corner and then the other of the green pad which wraps his 
blankets is unfolded and the blankets placed on a chair which the 
child has put at the foot of the bed. After he smooths all the 
wrinkles from the green pad, the sheet is placed in its right place 


on the bed, and by grasping the corners first of one side, then of 
the other, it is spread out. Now the heavy woolen blanket is placed 
just right or it gets badly wrinkled. So, with great care, the edges 
of the blanket are put on the bed the right way and it is so unfolded 
that it covers the bed and does not hang down too far on the side. 
Taming down the top so that it will be all ready to get into, adds 
the final touch. When the chair is folded and put into place, the 
child is off to play with the other children. 

Of course, the perfectly made bed does not come with the first 
trial or the second, in many cases, especially with the very young 
child, it takes weeks, even months, before he reaches perfection. 
The child is shown, step by step, exactly how to unfold and fold the 
blankets, then left to do as much of it as he can by himself. The 
directress is always ready to help when she feels that the next 
step is more than the child can carry through. But what satisfac- 
tion the child feels when he finally masters it and can make his bed 
completely himself. 

e. Records. Records give both the teacher and the parent 
opportunity for a fair and accurate check on the growth and 
progress in habit-formation of the child. By recording his re- 
sponses to situations over a period of time we are better able to 
understand him and to meet his needs. An accurate record of the 
length of each child's concentration is kept, not only as an indi- 
cator of his mental power, but also as an important factor in his 
personality make-up and his behavior. Records also give the 
teacher a chance better to follow the progress of the group. Records 
are kept of the school work of the individual child, his reaction 
on the roof during the play-time, the time he goes to sleep and 
awakes. Food records have been kept, showing whether the child 
eats all his dinner or a part, and whether he eats it with a relish. 
For the individual records we use the daily, weekly, and monthly 
cards compiled by the -Child Education Foundation. For a group 
record we keep the charts compiled by the Child Education Founda- 
tion, the "Aims and Purposes Chart for the Habit Formation of 
the Pre-School Child." 

/. Distinctive Feature. Perhaps the most distinctive feature 
of our nursery school is that it furnishes the educational advantages 
of the nursery school and at the same time fulfills the economic need 


of the day nursery. Another feature is that every child has a full 
half day outdoors and sleeps outdoors the year round. 

The atmosphere in this nursery is of a group cooperating 
happily and with entire lack of self -consciousness. It seems like 
a large, happy, and peaceful family. There is a feeling of a relaxa- 
tion and poise throughout the school which comes only from making 
one's own decisions and that inner satisfaction of having carried 
work through to completion. 

2. The Cambridge Nursery School 5 

a. Purpose. The Cambridge Nursery School was organized in 
the spring of 1923 by a group of Cambridge mothers who, seeking 
to provide for their children the most intelligent care at all times, 
were impressed with the significance of the Ruggles Street Nursery 
School of Boston. Following the three months' trial period in a 
private house, which convinced them of its educational and social 
value, a simple building with adequate play space was acquired at 
16 Farrar Street. This served until 1926, when a second group 
was formed to meet the increasing enrollment and to meet in some 
degree the problem of transportation; 

fc. Basic Educational Principles. The education of children of 
nursery age means guidance into good habits. Such guidance can 
be accomplished only by studying each child individually. ^Nursery 
schools aim to assist parents in the guidance of their chiMren by 
making available the knowledge and judgment which their directors 
have gained by studying! and experiencgywith many children. They 
also assist by providing an environment in which habits of self- 
control, self-development, and self-expression are most easily 

The Cambridge Nursery School offers mothers an opportunity 
to secure : first, association for their young children with others of 
the same age; second, the most intelligent assistance in the care 
of their children; and third, more knowledge of their children 
gained by observation of them in a group, and by an interchange 
of experience with other mothers. 

c. Organization. Each school is in charge of its trained di- 
rector, assisted by students in training from the Nursery Training 

8 This report was written by Florence Eaton, Director of the Cambridge 
Nursery School. 


School of Boston. A child specialist examines and reports twice 
yearly on the physical condition of the children, suggests treatment 
when necessary, and makes decisions in doubtful cases of contagion 
or quarantine. The school staff does not include a nurse or a 
psychiatrist. The daily inspection which would be given by a 
nurse is considered to fall within the duties of the directors, and 
consultation with psychiatrists is suggested to parents as the need 
for extra help with behavior problems arises. 

The school building on Farrar Street is a simple bungalow, 
facing the south, surrounded by a fenced play yard. In mild 
weather the program is conducted almost wholly outdoors. "When 
it is necessary to be indoors, the closely-set series of casement win- 
dows on the long side of the playroom are opened to admit the 
maximal amount of fresh air and sunlight. The second school 
group, just completing its second year in a private house, has 
adopted plans for similar building to be erected by September, 1928. 

In the yard, a sand-box, junglegym, slide, seesaw, stout trench 
shovels for use in the big "dig hole" in one corner of the yard, 
and a playhouse offer facilities for vigorous exercise, which is 
encouraged in alternation with quieter work. 

The day's program includes a morning circle with general con- 
versation on subjects suggested by the children, a music period 
in which nursery rhymes are dramatized and games played. There 
is also opportunity for free play with the larger apparatus, such as 
carts, slide, and junglegym, and a period of occupation with blocks, 
pegs, beads, scissors, paste, clay, pencils and large sheets of paper, 
saws, hammers, and nails. Before the mid-morning lunch the chil- 
dren wash their hands and set the tables, with as little assistance 
as possible. At table they pour the milk and pass the crackers; 
afterward they clear away and wash the dishes. Personal responsi- 
bility is developed by giving each child a locker for outdoor cloth- 
inj^and a place of his own for his towel and drinking cup. 
^Because it is fundamental that children learn by doing, the 
environment and materials are provided which will stimulate them 
to the most desirable experiences. The function of the teachers 
is to guide the ensuing activities into the proper channels. The 
children choose their own activities and carry them out as far as 
possible. When necessary, they are aided in their accomplish- 
ment by occasional suggestions, approval or disapproval, and en- 


couragement. The children feel a proprietary interest in the 
school, as co-workers, and advantage is taken of every desire for 
self expression along lines helpful to the group. The program, 
which is steady and only occasionally varied, brings repeated ex- 
periences which teach in themselves, with a minimum of assistance 
from adults. The only discipline, other than logical consequences 
of a deed, is temporary isolation from the group. This makes clear 
to the child the fact that he is not only an individual but also $ 
member of a social group, with responsibilities as well as privileges* 

When a child is enrolled at the school, the mother becomes a 
member of the corporation, and as such accepts a responsibility 
for its policies, its interests, its activities^ Three general meetings 
are held during the year Intermediary business is conducted by 
an executive committee chosen annually. 

Each mother of a child in the school has simple, definite duties. 
Once a week she spends half a day as an assistant to the director, 
sharing in the regular routine, watching the methods used and the 
children's reaction to them. Once a month she spends part of an 
afternoon, with the director and other mothers, in discussion of 
problems of child care Early in the year the mother chooses sub- 
jects which interest her and which she may keep in mind while 
observing at the school. Papers are written ; books are reviewed ; 
and the discussion which follows is purposeful. These active re- 
sponsibilities are considered obligatory by the executive committee. 

Fifteen to eighteen children are accepted in each group. The 
director, assistant, and mother-assistant are present daily. The 
session is from 9 :00 to 12 :00, five days a week. In the afternoon 
the children may return for supervised free play at any time from 
2 :30 until 5 :00, after they have had a satisfactory rest at home. 
The children range in age from two to five years, with a group 
division of the four- to five-year-olds. 

d. Typical Learning Situation. Tom, aged three, deliberately 
broke up a puzzle made by Jack, aged four, who was saving it to 
show his mother. Jack was much distressed. Miss W. told Tom 
it was an unkind, unfair thing to do, to spoil another's work, and 
asked him what he could do to make Jack happy again. He volun- 
tarily went to Jack, said, "I'm sorry, Jack," and began to assemble 
the pieces. Jack preferred to re-make it himself; so Tom simply 
turned all the pieces right side up for him. The following day 


Tom asked for a puzzle and, when half through, came running to 
Miss W., who had handled the situation the day before. "You 
won't let anyone spoil my puzzle, will you?" he asked. Miss W. 
assured him she hoped no one would be so unkind and that she 
would try to see that nothing happened. So he went back to work. 
Tom is slowly learning self-control and consideration for others. 
The successful point in tl^is type of situation has been found to be 
the stressing, not of his delinquencies, which are legion, but rather 
of the feeling that, as a membex 1 of the group, he can expect con- 
sideration and cooperation from the other. In this way Tom is 
gradually realizing that this desirable attitude of the group toward 
him is the right and most worth while attitude for him to hold 
toward the other children. Instead of being left with the non- 
constructive feeling of having added one more to his list of trans- 
gressions, he carried away, and now builds upon, the positive idea 
of kindness and thought for others, 

e. Records. The -Cambridge Nursery School is of the coopera- 
tive type and feels its aims are reached without the intensive records 
which naturally form an important part of the laboratory or re- 
search type of school. The belief is held that records should be 
secondary to the natural play life of the child, that they should be 
made only when it is possible to do so without making his life 
restricted or artificial, that the child is not brought into this par- 
ticular group for the purpose of making records. However, in a 
simple but adequate way, development is recorded. 

The school physician keeps .records of his examinations in 
October and May and sends a letter to the parents telling of his 
findings and recommendations. Reports recording development of 
habits are made out three times a year and a copy given to the 
parents. These reports are organized under the main headings: 
control of body, control of matter, speech sense development, emo- 
tions, higher mental powers, moral and social attitudes. Confer- 
ences between director and parents follow the issuing of these 
reports. These serve to strengthen the relationship of home and 
school influences surrounding the child through his whole day. 
Besides these conferences, there is an almost daily interchange of 
ideas between the director and the mothers when they bring the 
children to school and later when they call for them. These con- 


tacts have proved to be of inestimable value to teachers and parents 

/. Distinctive Feature. The most distinctive feature of the 
Cambridge Nursery School is the active part played by its mothers. 
The school is created, not to relieve parents of their responsibility, 
but to develop them in it. It is a social as well as an educational 
venture, and parents invariably are convinced that their homes and 
their children are gainers because of it. 

3. Nursery Schools of Cleveland Day Nursery and 
Free Kindergarten Association 6 

a. Purpose. The aims for which the Gowan Nursery School 
and the Samantha Hanna Nursery Schools were organized are: 
first, to provide for the establishment of habits which would fur- 
ther the physical and mental development of the preschool child; 
second, to cooperate with the Cleveland Kindergarten-Primary 
Training School in providing a school where students in training 
may observe and do practice teaching. 

Early in the history of the Cleveland Day Nursery and Free 
Kindergarten Association, with the help of experts in the field, 
kindergartens were organized in all of the day nurseries. Being 
able to observe this age level closely, the members of the association 
came to realize that the years previous to entrance into kindergarten 
are most important to the child. These are significant years in 
which* to "form desirable habits that will further physical and mental 

They also recognized the fact that it is important that the child 
shall be under the guidance of trained workers if such habits are 
to be established. They turned to the nursery-school teacher as 
one best trained for the work. Accordingly, nursery schooLs were 
established. As the kindergartens were also training centers for 
the students from the Cleveland Kindergarten-Primary Training 
Schools, 7 the nursery schools were organized in a similar way. 

9 This report is a reorganization of the material written "by Gertrude Burns, 
Instructor in Nursery School Education, W ester31 Deserve University, and 
Director of the Gowan Nursery School; assisted by Amy Hostler, Assistant 
Instructor in Nursery School Education, Western Eeserve University, and 
Director of the Samantha Hanna Nursery School. 

T Now a part of Western Reserve University. 


The Gowan Nursery School, established in 1922 in the Louise 
Rawson Day Nursery, and the Samantha Hanna Nursery School, 
opened in 1926 at the Perkins Day Nursery, are nursery schools 
which provide for the development of the child from two to four 
or five years of age and for the training of teachers for nursery- 
school work. 

fe. Basto Educational Principles. Recognizing that each activity 
in which the two- to four-or-five-year-old child engages is educa- 
tional to him, it is essential that he be under the guidance of adults 
who are trained in methods of teaching as well as in child psy- 
chology and child care. 

A wholesome environment with carefully planned materials 
provides stimuli for mental development. A well-planned daily 
routine aids in habit-formation. The child's physical needs are 
met by providing nourishing food, space, play in the open with 
plenty of apparatus for physical activity, and a regular time for 

He makes social adjustments in life situations where children 
share and learn to give and take with others of their own age. The 
child's emotional life is protected by the day's routine in a happy 
undisturbed atmosphere. Materials and equipment are selected for 
all-round physical development and also for the stimulation of 
mental activity at this age-level. 

c. Organization. The directors are teachers of experience in 
kindergarten and primary grades as well as in critic work. One 
holds a master's degree with additional study in nursery-school 
education and psychology. The assistants are graduates of the 
Training School, having done practice teaching in nursery schools, 
kindergartens, and the primary grade. Students in training spend 
twelve weeks during their senior year in practice teaching in the 
nursery schools. Nurses from the School of Nursing, Western Re- 
serve University, in their last year of work, as well as affiliates of 
other nursing schools, e.g., Blodgett Memorial in Grand Rapids, 
Michigan, receive a part of their training under the direct super- 
vision of the directors of the nursery schools. The nursery maid 
is a resident of the day nursery but under the supervision of the 
nursery-school director. A maid is employed for cleaning the 
nursery schools. 


Each school has an entrance hall, a playroom, bathroom, and 
kitchen. The Gowan Nursery School has also an enclosed sleeping 
porch with individual Simmons beds. The Samantha Hanna Nurs- 
ery School uses the Merrill-Palmer folding cots. 

In the hall are lockers for the children's wraps. 

The playrooms are large attractive rooms having many windows 
with south and east exposures in the one, and south, east, and north 
exposures in the other. There are cupboards with broad shelves 
for the children's use and closed cupboards for supplies. The floors 
are covered with battleship linoleum. In one room an open grate 
adds cheerfulness. Small, low tables and chairs, rockers, a piano, 
and a victrola complete the furniture equipment. The large pic- 
tures are hung on the level of the child's eye and are in the form 
of gaily-colored poster effects. 

The kitchens, large enough for children to enter without inter- 
fering, are equipped with ice-boxes, hot plates, sinks, low shelves 
on which the children may place dishes, and both high and low 
cupboards. This equipment is adequate, as all food is prepared in 
the large kitchen of the day nursery. 

The bathrooms in each school have three low seats and lavatories, 
and one lavatory for adult use. There are showers connected with 
the tubs. Of the two tables, one is where rectal temperatures are 
taken each morning; the other is where children are dried after 
the bath and where manicures and pedicures are given. Steps 
lead to the tables. Low chairs are placed where children may sit 
while dressing A hamper holds the soiled clothes until they are 
removed to the laundry. 

Playgrounds are enclosed and reserved for the nursery-school 
children. There are garden plots with shade trees and shrubs. A 
small shelter house and a porch protect on wet or stormy days. 
The equipment consists of : junglegym, sand-boxes, slides, walking 
boards, seesaws, large hollow blocks, barrels, packing boxes, wagons, 
sleds, a rocking horse, rope swings, chair swings, and a low turn- 
ing bar. 

The daily program follows the following outline: 

Arrival Hanging up wraps. 
Medical inspection. 
A drink of water. 
Toilet preparation. 


(Some children are bathed. The outer clothing of all children 
is changed to hygienic cotton suits which allow for free physi- 
cal activity.) 

Cod-liver oil and fruit juice. 

Free play in playroom. 

Mid-morning lunch of milk and graham crackers. 

Play out of doors if weather permits. Otherwise play in room with 
various uses of materials, as wheel vehicles, sand-box, peg 
boards, paper, scissors, paste, tea sets, doll corners, etc. 

Dinner preparation. 

Room or playground in order. 
Toilet preparation. 
Tables set. 

Music or stories. 


Preparation for sleep. 




Play out of doors or in room until parents call for children. 

The teaching techniques provide for: 

1. An attractive homelike environment planned for child in order 
to decrease inhibitions. 

2. Redirecting rather than repressing. 

3. Providing opportunities for creative expression. 

4. Setting example for imitation but suggesting only when 

5. Little adult interference, so as to allow for development of 
initiative and the assuming of responsibilities. 

6. Stressing the positive and avoiding the negative. 

7. Following necessary routine to form habits. 

Cooperation with specialists is carried out in various ways. 
Ailments or symptoms are reported to the medical advisor on his 
weekly visits and any special treatment or examination is asked 
for. -Cases for study or recommendation are referred to the psy- 
chologist, who reports the results of mental tests. The psychiatrist 
makes investigations for behavior problems and for causative 
factors and recommends specific treatment. The psychiatric-social 
worker makes home contacts through visits and confer ences, and 
reports, by case studies, factors in the home that influence behavior. 
Western Reserve University provides specialists who plan menus 
according to children's needs, with due consideration for budget 


Nursery-school directors meet the parents when they bring the 
children to school on their way to work in the morning. Parents 
are asked to fill out charts which supply data on home care. If 
behavior problems arise or if the child needs special care, such cases 
are discussed with parents when they call for children on their way 
home from work. Monthly parents' meetings are held at which 
talks on child care are given, demonstrations made, and round-table 
discussions held. 

The homes from which these children come are for the most 
part broken homes. It is usually the mother who cares for the 
children. In most cases there are several children in a family. 
The homes are in tenements and apartments. One room may house 
three persons, or six rooms and a bath may be the home of four. 

The educational status of parents ranges from no schooling in 
America to normal-school graduates. 

Children are admitted from two years to four years of age at 
the Q-owan Nursery School and to five years at the Samantha Hanna 
Nursery School. Younger children may be admitted at the dis- 
cretion of the superintendent of the day nursery and the director 
of the nursery school. A complete medical examination is given be- 
fore a child is admitted. The equipment provides for an enrollment 
of twenty children in each school. The time of arrival is from 6 :45 
A.M. to 9 :00 A.M. Children are called for between the hours of 
4 :00 and 6 :00 P.M. The average number of children to a teacher 
is three. The age range in the Gowan is twenty months to four 
years; in the Hanna, twenty months to five years and one month. 
There are no group classifications. The day nursery superin- 
tendents, who are graduate nurses, have charge of health examina- 
tions and control exclusions and isolations. Student teachers re- 
main for morning session only. Only those children who are 
eligible for day-nursery care are admitted to these nursery schools. 

d. Typical Learning Situation. Frances, who is two years old, 
walked up a plank placed on an incline. When she reached the 
end, she expected some one to help her down. No one appeared 
to notice her, even when she whimpered. Having to assume the 
responsibility, she turned around carefully and retraced her steps 
down the plank. She had solved her problem with satisfaction, 
as was evidenced by this activity, which became a game for her for 
several days following. 


e. Records. The nursery school must be considered as a labora- 
tory for research and as such it should furnish reliable data in the 
form of records. If we are to know children, we must observe 
them. Records of observations must be kept if they are to have 
practical value. All who take care of children have a share in their 
education. Then all should assume some responsibility in the 
keeping of records, for each supplements others. It is desirable 
that simple forms which are easily checked shall be used or record 
keeping will prove so great a burden that it will be neglected. 
Records provide concrete evidence by which we trace progress. By 
means of them we may be able to influence the public to a more 
conscious effort to provide properly for the younger child. 

Diary records of children, which give complete pictures of their 
activities and furnish data which may be used in various other 
records, are perhaps the best kind to be kept. Data such as these 
are also charted : hours of arrival and departure to show time spent 
in school; the time and frequency of urination and defecation; 
weekly weights and monthly heights; daily temperature; baths 
and shampoos; amount of food taken, reaction to certain foods, 
social habits during meals. Data on home care and behavior are 
also gathered. The records of children's activities include evi- 
dences of dramatic play, forms of group organization, creative 
expression, and language development. From diary records we 
trace the beginnings of concern with subject matter, like interest 
in language, in stories, in music, in nature, and in number and 
its use. 

/. Distinctive Feature. In an attempt to counteract the super- 
ficial contacts that we were having with our working mothers, a 
definite plan was made for parental education. The plan included 
monthly group meetings and informal individual conferences. The 
group meetings were in the form of supper parties, because we felt 
that we could not ask these mothers to go part way across the city 
to take a child home and then return to us. Those children who 
could not be called for by a relative or friend and cared for until 
the mother could get home were kept in a room at the day-nursery 
building. The mothers assembled in the nursery-school room. 
From the beginning we planned, and we still serve, a simple but 
nourishing supper at six o'clock. The mothers who finish work 
earliest come and help get the room in readiness by setting the 


tables, dishing desserts, and arranging the salads. We find that 
after a comforting hour that contributes warmth, food, and friend- 
liness, the mothers will meet us half-way in any discussion or in 
any requests that are made. 

Various persons come in to talk with us at these meetings. The 
members of the behavior clinic connected with our own day-nursery 
association give us untold help in suggestions and in the talks they 
conduct from time to time. The mothers bring to us accounts of 
child life in the home which serve as evidence that to a certain 
degree our teaching methods are being transferred to the homes. 

Some of the discussions deal entirely with the physical care of 
the child. At such times we have comparisons of food values, 
demonstrations of how to cook simple dishes to increase milk intake 
for the child, and even how to give a bath in the right way. We 
have clothing demonstrations and try various patterns of children's 
clothing. At other times we discuss individual problems dealing 
with discipline, punishment, enuresis, and other types of habit 

At the Samantha Hanna Nursery School a simple form of 
organizatiorT^was decided upon, with one mother chosen to be 
president. The G-owan Nursery School has recently undertaken 
a similar type of parental education. 

If the nursery school and home can work together as has been 
demonstrated by the Samantha Hanna Nursery School organiza- 
tion during the past year and a half, then we feel that perhaps 
this will be our greatest contribution to the problem of early child- 
hood education. 

4. The Franklin School Nursery of the Chicago 
'Public Schools 8 

a. Purpose. The Franklin Public School Nursery, located at 
226 West Goethe Street, Chicago, Illinois, was opened in September, 
1925, under the auspices of the Chicago Women's Club. This Club 
operated the first kindergarten in a Chicago public school. Vision- 
ing the nursery school as a future addition to public-school educa- 
tion, they wished to try a first public-school nursery to learn whether 
it was feasible and wise for a nursery school to operate within a 

*This report was written from material submitted by Rose M. Alschuler, 
Staff Director of the Franklin Nursery School. 


public school. Could twenty children eat, sleep, and play properly 
and happily in one room from 9 :00 A.M. to 3 :30 P.M. ? Could one 
continuous educational program be evolved which would make for 
finer, fuller development of children. Would the nursery school in 
time modify public-school procedure and in how far need, or should, 
nursery-school procedure be modified to adapt it to a public-school 
situation? To what extent were parents of the somewhat under- 
privileged group in which they were working educable, not super- 
ficially as to procedure, but fundamentally as to point of view. 

6. Basic Educational Principles. Fundamentally, the educa- 
tional aims are not essentially different from those of other nursery 
schools. Probably most persons working with young children are 
trying to develop strong young bodies, sound emotional make-ups, 
and the freedom for the individual that will come through a sense 
of security and that can express itself through generally developed 
strengths. Franklin Public School Nursery may perhaps differ 
from other similar groups in the fact that, while opportunity is 
offered for varied experiences with music, materials, and equip- 
ment of all kinds, no effort is made to channel energy along any 
given lines. All learning situations are inf ormaL 

The staff considers habit and routine as a means for comfortable 
living together of people of any age, but believes they should not 
be stressed too strongly as objectives in the nursery school. Good 
habits and routine are justifiable in so far as the nursery school 
can create an atmosphere where good habits and routine are de- 
sirable to the child, but they are not justifiable objectives if they 
are obtained by adult pressure. 

c. Organization. A problem which has challenged our resources 
has been that of working out a successful technique of cooperation 
with existent agencies. The Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund 
furnishes the services of a pediatrician, nutritional workers, and 
an anthropometrist to plan and carry out the health program. The 
Institute for Juvenile Research has furnished psychologists, physi- 
atric social workers, and a psychiatrist as necessary. This staff, 
which belongs to the Preschool Branch of the Institute for Juvenile 
Eesearch, has planned and carried out the mental health program. 
Both groups have given examining, consultant, and advisory service. 
An account of their programs and of the integration of these two 
staffs and the nursery-school staff into one unit appears further on. 


The personnel of the staff consists of a part-time staff director, 
a teaching director, an assistant, and two student teachers who are 
in training at the school. The nursery-school staff plans the educa- 
tional program, daily procedure, and general procedure with par- 
ents and children. This program is not only open to modification, 
but is very often modified by suggestions from the staffs of the 
two organizations cooperating. Members of these staffs are fre- 
quently at the nursery school and are thoroughly familiar with the 
children, their families, and the situation in general. 

The nursery-school staff was not organized primarily for re- 
search. It has, however, tried to maintain a research attitude 
one of constant testing, modifying and developing, as necessary, 
their program, materials, and techniques. 

As the years have proceeded, the staff finds itself less dogmatic, 
more attentive to the child's unexpressed needs, less programmed 
in thought and detail At the beginning three years ago, fifteen- 
to twenty-minute periods were established daily for rhythm and 
stories ; there was a ritual for the morning orange juice, i.e., tables 
were set and everyone waited for everyone else. But now the large 
rhythm of the child's needs is sensed and the program recognizes 
in general only the needs to eat, sleep, and play, and has become 
altogether more elastic. 

Twenty children were enrolled at the beginning of this year. 
Three were sent on in February because they were over four years 
old. Conditions sense of repose, for example were bettered by 
having seventeen, rather than twenty, children in the room; so the 
enrollment will be held down to seventeen for the rest of the year at 
least. The question naturally has arisen : is seventeen intrinsically 
a better number than twenty, or could twenty children get along 
equally well if a larger, more adequate school were provided? 

In our present program most of the children are outdoors dur- 
ing most of the morning. Individual differences are noted, and 
variations, such as shorter outdoor periods for some children and 
mid-morning rests, are introduced as necessary. Two directors are 
on duty daily from 9 :00 A.M. until 3 :30 P.M. At times there has 
been but one student teacher. The directors believe this staff hardly 
adequate for obtaining maximal results in establishing habits ; e.g., 
bathroom routine and the putting on of wraps have to be done so 
quickly that the children cannot be trained to be as independent 


as when more adults can give longer and more specific attention, 
thus helping each child to help himself. 

The physical layout consists of one large schoolroom 30 feet by 
30 feet of the usual public school type, with three large windows 
along the east wall and one door leading to a platform and outside 
stairs which in turn lead directly to the enclosed nursery-school 
playground below. The dressing room, 30 feet by 5 feet, houses 
the children's wraps, blankets (which are suspended), and cots 
(which are folded away when not in use) . The bathroom contains 
two toilets and two lavatories. The only especially interesting in- 
door equipment is a large-muscle apparatus, which consists of a 
standard and a cross-bar placed about six feet above the floor. This 
cross-bar pegs into the wall, -and from it are suspended rings, a 
swing, and stirrups. The children are thus afforded large-muscle 
play indoors on apparatus easily swung into place and again put 
away. A sand box has been built 8 feet by 6 feet. "When its sloping 
tops are closed, the children can climb up one side and slide down 
the other; when open, the top pieces rest level with the sides of 
the box, so that the children can sit on them and play. In develop- 
ing materials and equipment the public-school point of view, with 
need for economy and easy duplication, has been kept in mind. 

The children of the Franklin Nursery School are all of foreign- 
born parentage, principally Italian and German. 

The age range of children accepted is from 24 to 42 months. 
Soon after the children are four years old, they are sent on to the 
public-school kindergarten in the same building. 

The average wage of the fathers is $25 to $35 per week. In 
several families the mothers are the sole wage earners. As a group, 
the parents are self-respecting, intelligent, and reliable people, in- 
terested in their children and generally cooperative. Of the twenty 
children in the group this year, ten were referred to the nursery 
school by the psychiatric social workers of neighboring infant wel- 
fare clinics; one by the Institute for Juvenile Research. All were 
sent because of specific needs, such as feeding difficulties, tantrums, 
etc. In practically all cases adjustment is being effected in the 
nursery school, and reasonable home cooperation is being sceured. 

In the course of the year all parents are asked whether their 
children are getting dental care. As most of them are not, arrange- 
ments are made through the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund, 


and with the permission of the parents, to provide all children with 
dental examinations, prophylaxis, and fillings at a very small 

Conferences are held regularly with parents. Mothers are asked 
to come about four times during the school year; half an hour is 
allowed for each appointment. This year a nutritional worker and 
physiatric social worker have visited every home and observed the 
home relationships, the child at play, at luncheon, and starting 
his nap. This more thorough knowledge of the home situation has 
given much better insight into the problems of handling the child 
and has greatly facilitated the cooperation between the home and 
school. In addition, about three evening meetings are held during 
the year with the fathers and mothers. These meetings are partly 
social and partly educational. Usually there are discussions of 
physical hygiene or typical behavior difficulties. 

In order that the standard of care which the nursery school tries 
to create during the school year shall be maintained during the 
summer months, and also because the nursery school wants data 
on. what happens to the children during vacation time, one day is 
appointed in July and one in August when a member of each staff 
comes to the school and offers to meet parents and children. These 
conferences are voluntary, but a definite time is appointed in ad- 
vance where desired. "Weights and heights are noted, and general 
behavior and problems are discussed. Practically all parents of 
children in the school who are in town come for these conferences. 

As to the educational process, every member of the staffs recog- 
nizes the interdependence of mental, emotional, and physical factors, 
and contributes from his special angle to the total point of view. 
As before stated, the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund con- 
ducts the physical health program, which includes physical exam- 
inations by a pediatrician, monthly checking of weight and height, 
and the taking of a number of other anthropometric measurements 
at the beginning and end of the school year. The planning and 
supervision of the dietary by a nutrition specialist, and an advisory 
service to the school concerning equipment and program as they 
may affect the physical development of the children, are also in- 
cluded. In addition, a very important part of the Fund's work is 
the education of the parents through, occasional group meetings, but 
more particularly through regular individual conferences at which 


the pediatrician, the nutrition specialist, and the teaching director 
discuss with the mother the progress and special needs of the child. 
The Fund is also conducting studies of the physical development 
of preschool children and of the conditions that affect it. It is 
hoped that the data being gathered may both help to determine 
standards of physical development and performance and also con- 
tribute to the evaluation of nursery-school procedure in its relation 
to the health of young children. In so far as the general program 
can be separated, as before stated, the Preschool Branch of the In- 
stitute for Juvenile Eesearch directs and carries the mental health 
program. This service consists of taking a social history for every 
child, individual psychological tests, psychiatric observations where 
advisable, advice to teachers and parents in regard to methods of 
training, behavior, and personality problems. 

In order that the activities of the various agencies cooperating 
in the work of the school shall be integrated, monthly joint staff 
conferences are held in the offices of the Preschool Branch of the 
Institute for Juvenile Research. This is a routine service given to 
all nursery schools in which the Institute for Juvenile Research is 
working Matters of mutual policy are discussed at these con- 
ferences, but their chief purpose is to discuss the development of 
various cases at intervals during the year. The social history and 
family background of the child are presented by a psychiatric 
social worker of the Preschool Branch of the Institute. Physical 
and nutritional data are reported by a pediatrician and a nutri- 
tional worker of the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund. Test 
results and observations on the behavior of the child are presented 
by a psychologist and a psychiatrist of the Institute staff. The 
nursery-school director presents a detailed report on the child's 
personality and behavior in the nursery school with a summary of 
his outstanding needs and problems. General discussion ensues, 
and as concrete a program of recommendations as is possible is set 
forth for both the home and the nursery school. Each agency is 
held responsible for carrying out the recommendations that lie in 
its field of work. The recommendations later come before the con- 
ference for review every few months. By this cooperative method 
a personality study of each child is being made. A detailed record 
is kept for each child, most of which is filed in triplicate, one copy 
in the nursery-school files, one in the offices of the Elizabeth Me- 


Cormick Memorial Fund, and a third in the files of the Preschool 
Branch of the Institute. 

In addition to this major program of work thus outlined, the 
Institute carries on special research studies in the nursery school, 
such as a series of psychological tests, observations on habit, and 
special observations on each child's behavior. Before the child 
is accepted in the nursery school, the mother is given a typewritten 
questionnaire to fill out. This supplies information valuable to the 
nursery school in its first contacts with the family and the child. 
The information covers household and household personnel, simple 
developmental history, record of past illnesses, and some facts on 
habits of eating, sleeping, and manner of discipline. 

d. Records. Detailed records of home visits are made. These 
are filed in individual folders with the initial questionnaires and 
psychological test results. In addition, there is filed the nursery- 
school directors' detailed summary of every child that is made out 
for staff conference, together with the ensuing discussions and 
recommendations ; also, concise records of all appointed conferences 
between parents and staff. A continuous record carefully kept over 
a period of several years should indicate what difficulties are typical, 
what recurrent, what procedures were used and whether or not these 
were satisfactory. 

e. Distinctive Features. It is a bit difficult to state the dis- 
tinctive features of the Franklin Public School Nursery, as so many 
things that are developed separately by different organizations are 
the result of current thought and so develop spontaneously and 
simultaneously in different situations. 

The demonstration of the use and integration of existent 
agencies for improved nursery-school service and techniques is 
probably the strongest contribution of this nursery school and is an 
experiment which can be duplicated undoubtedly in other com- 
munities where similar agencies exist. 

Another significant feature is the public-school situation the 
one room and the necessarily economical method of handling ma- 
terials. Summer conferences, dental services, and occasionally hos- 
pital supervision of tonsilectomies and circumcisions when recom- 
mended, are an extension of school services not ordinarily given in 
nursery schools. 


As nursery schools develop in other public schools, care should 
he taken to guard the experiments by limiting, for the present at 
least, the number of children in the group and the number of chil- 
dren per director, and also by avoiding crystallization of programs 
of thought and action before we are far more certain than we now 
are of the best way of meeting the needs of children of nursery- 
school age. 

5. The Guidance Nursery of the Yale Psycho-Clinic 9 

a. Purpose. The Guidance Nursery was organized in 1926, as 
an adjunct to the service division of the clinic. Its general purpose 
is to provide facilities for the observation and guidance of young 
children and to develop flexible, individualized procedure for the 
guidance of parents. 

Incidentally, the nursery provides observational and ^training 
opportunities for advanced students in the field of child develop- 
ment. The arrangements are made flexible to permit intensive 
work with significant cases and to aid in the defining of new methods 
of approach in child and parent guidance. 

It has also been our purpose to demonstrate that certain types 
of work in the field of preschool and parental education can be 
economically undertaken in connection with kindergarten and other 
agencies, without the more elaborate provisions of a congregate 
nursery school. 

b. Basic Educational Principles. All problems of behavior and 
training, whether in normal, atypical, or handicapped preschool 
children, require some degree of individual study and of individual 
adjustment. To a considerable extent these problems involve the 
home situation and the parent-child relationship. It is desirable, 
therefore, to reckon with the problems in an individualized man- 
ner, which will most directly and effectively reach the parental 
and home factors. 

c. Organization. The staff consists of a part-time clinical ex- 
aminer, a clerk, and a guidance worker. The clinical examiner 
makes the initial psychological examination of all children referred 
to the clinic. He gives special attention to those of preschool age, 
who are referred also to the nursery for observation and training 

8 This report was made by Dr. AT&old Gesell, 'with the assistance of Bruton 
Castaer an4 


The guidance worker gives her full time to actual guidance work 
with individual children and groups of children, to records of 
their behavior, to home visitation, and to conference with the 

Other members of the clinical staff, social workers, and student 
assistants, may participate in the working out of the individual 
guidance programs. 

The practical arrangements of the guidance nursery are simple. 
They consist of a bright, homelike nursery with a fireplace, a small 
cloakroom with lavatory, and an outdoor play shelter communicat- 
ing with a spacious play lawn. (The outdoor equipment consists 
of sandbox, slides, seesaw, ladders, carts, and wheeled toys.) Built 
into one corner of the nursery is a small indoor play pond. Built 
into an adjoining corner is an inconspicuous, but roomy observation 
alcove for the use of parents and other observers. This alcove con- 
sists essentially of a carpeted and draped room with chairs, and a 
screen partition which has the appearance of a solid wall when 
viewed from the exterior or nursery side. This screen is con- 
structed of ordinary commercial wire netting (sixteen mesh), 
treated with several thin coats of white enamel paint on the exterior 
surface. Viewed from the nursery side this screen has the appear- 
ance of a solid surface. From the interior, however, it is sufficiently 
transparent to give the observer a view of the entire nursery. 

The nursery is equipped with a varied assortment of toys, with 
large building blocks and other constructive materials. This equip- 
ment gives the child ample chance to display his traits and abilities 
both in independent and in social situations. There are abundant 
opportunities for him to work at problems requiring intelligence, 
motor coordination, conversation, and emotional control. The 
mother of the child may take a station in the observation alcove, 
which gives her a wholesomely detached point of view for following 
his behavior through the screen shield. It should be emphasized 
that the equipment is simple and that the essentials may be readily 
duplicated. Even the play pond is of very simple construction. It 
consists of nothing more than a shallow basin (four feet by six) 
made of galvanized sheet metal, painted marine green, and sup- 
plied with a central fountain. Planks serve as bridges, and the 
floating toys, the sticks to poke with, and the strings to pull, pro- 
vide endless opportunity for constructive play. 


A large observation room is not indispensable. The panels of 
the door of the cloakroom are also provided with small screens of 
construction similar to that already described. These smaller 
screens can be advantageously used by one or two observers. 

There is no fixed program of activities ; the procedure with the 
individual child is planned and carried out according to his needs, 
on the basis of the problems shown. There is necessarily, however, 
a certain minimum of routine through which each ease passes. 
The initial visit includes first of all a developmental examination, 
which is followed by a period of observation in the guidance 
nursery. The introductory report, containing information as to 
family background and developmental history, as well as the par- 
ent's statement of the problem, is examined, and its details are 
amplified through an interview with the parent. There may be a 
visit to the home to confirm our impression as to the probable home 
background or to observe manifestations of problem behavior which 
occur only in the home. 

On the basis of the information gathered through these various 
steps, a conference between the psychologist and the guidance 
worker determines: (a) whether or not it will be desirable to 
follow the case by means of further visits; (b) if so, how many 
visits are likely to be necessary; (c) how frequently they should 
take place; (d) whether the child should continue to come alone, 
at least to begin with, or whether he should be seen with one or 
more other children; and (e) the methods provisionally decided 
upon for meeting the problem. 

Whether he comes alone or with others, the child is introduced 
into the nursery situation in an entirely informal manner. Each 
child is required to do what he can toward the removal of outer 
clothing and hanging it up; but, these preliminaries over, his 
activities are permitted, as far as possible, to follow the line of his 
own interests Interference and suggestions on the part of the 
guidance worker or any other adult present are kept at a minimum. 
This aim is materially aided by having the mother seated in the 
observation alcove already described, where the screen, while per- 
mitting her to observe all the activities, keeps the child ignorant 
of her presence and effectually restrains her tendencies to step into 
such situations as may cause her concern. 


There are times, of course, when it becomes desirable for the 
guidance worker to take a hand, for the purpose of preventing 
accidents, adjudicating disputes, encouraging a hesitant child, etc. ; 
or she may respond to the child's attempt to draw her into the play. 
Under certain conditions the situation which is likely to call forth 
problem behavior is actually presented in the clinic. Thus, a child 
who is referred on account of certain problems in relation to the 
feeding situation may be served luncheon in the nursery alone or 
with other children ; one who is over-dependent upon the presence 
of the mother may have to undergo separation; or a child who is 
given to disobedience or temper tantrums may be faced with situa- 
tions which bring out these responses. The mother is in this way 
given a concrete demonstration of how such problems are to be met 
or avoided. Then, in the conference with the mother which takes 
place immediately after the observation is concluded, the situation 
is gone over, the outstanding points emphasized, the differences be- 
tween her own and our guidance methods brought out, and her con- 
fidence as to the possibility of her overcoming the problems 

This guidance procedure varies with each individual case. 
Typically, the different steps may be recapitulated as follows : 

a. A request for an appointment and a consultation concerning a 
concrete report of the behavior problem. Usually the mother brings the 
child to the clime on the first visit. 

b. A psychological examination of the child in the service clinic. 

c. Observation of the spontaneous behavior of the child in the guid- 
ance nursery. 

d. A conference of the guidance worker and of the clinical ex- 
aminer, which leads to the planning of a special guidance program, 

e. Return visits of the child to the guidance nursery, once, twice, 
or oftener, a week. 

f. Occasional return visits by the mother to give her an opportunity 
to observe the child and to learn, through the demonstration of the guid- 
ance nursery, the methods to be used. 

g. Conference with the mother to show how similar methods may 
be used at home. 

h. Follow-up visits of child and parent to continue guidance and 

The parents, like the children, are, for the most part, seen indi- 
vidually. The guidance takes the form of consultation and con- 
ference rather than formal group instruction. The problems of 


child management are discussed in terms of the specific child and 
concretely in relation to his reported behavior and his actual be- 
havior at the clinic. Thus, the parent guidance and the child guid- 
ance are carried on conjointly in a natural context and in direct 
relation to a concrete situation. 

As a vital part of our program of procedure in any guidance 
problem it is necessary that we have the entire cooperation of the 
mother, and it is only upon this understanding that we under- 
take to follow up a case. It has been our experience that the 
mother is usually willing to accept this stipulation and to carry 
out our suggestions as far as she is able ; it seldom becomes neces- 
sary to drop a case because of any failure to cooperate. 

An interview with the mother on the first visit furnishes us a 
background for laying out our procedure and enables us to make 
whatever general or specific suggestions we are in a position to 
give after the initial observation. Repeated conferences on later 
visits, in the clinic or, occasionally, in the home, serve to check the 
results of carrying out earlier suggestions, and enable us to keep in 
constant touch with the changing manifestations of the problem. 
The most valuable aid in this matter of parent guidance is the 
observation alcove already mentioned which allows for concrete 
demonstrations of our methods with the mother effectually removed 
from the situation as far as the child is concerned, and which at 
the same time fosters in her that attitude of detachment so im- 
portant in her own management of the problems. 

It has been our experience that many mothers, by the time they 
bring their children to us, have completely lost confidence in their 
ability to handle the problems presented by their children. It is 
important that the confidence thus lost be restored. Much may be 
accomplished towards this end by showing them that it is quite 
possible to effect control without resorting to drastic measures. 

The Guidance Nursery, therefore, has no fixed enrollment like 
the ordinary nursery school. Its activities and attendance vary 
from week to week and even from day to day. The guidance worker 
has had a background of experience with children of both kinder- 
garten and prekindergarten age. Sometimes she works intensively 
with one child; more frequently she works with small groups of 
three, four, five, or six children, usually from eighteen months to 
five years of age. The group classification rests on the special 


social and guidance needs of the children. Their compatibility and 
the value of the reciprocal influence, from the guidance stand- 
point, rather than their actual ages, are taken into account in de- 
termining the pairs and groups. 

The size and personnel of any particular group may vary from 
week to week ; new cases are added or old ones dropped when the 
problem becomes one which may be taken over entirely by the 
home or when, as rarely happens, lack of parental cooperation 
indicates that there will be no profit in continuing the case further. 

During the first twenty-nine weeks of the current clinic year, 
from September 5th through April 14th, there were seen one hun- 
dred different cases involving parent guidance. The distribution 
by age was as follows: 

12 mos. through 23 mos * 

24 " 35 " 17 

36 " 47 " ii 

59 " 8 



72 and above 52 

Total 100 

There were also 33 cases not of the parent-guidance type in 
which a clinical observation in the Guidance Nursery served to aid 
our understanding of the nature of the case. Of these, 26 were of 
preschool age. These include cases of adoption and children de- 
prived of parental care. 

On the average, fifteen parent-guidance contacts are made each 
week by the clinical-guidance service in this way throughout the 
clinic year. The usual length of time allowed for one visit is 
two hours. 

d. Typical Learning Situation. A case selected from the cur- 
rent files, on which work is still going forward, will serve to illus- 
trate the methods of procedure. Richard L., aged 19 months, was 
brought to us by his father on the suggestion of the family physi- 
cian because of irregularity in eating, slow progress in talking, and 
some difficulty in general discipline. The developmental examina- 
tion made at the time of the first visit indicated that the boy was 
of better than average intelligence, yet he showed a very poor 
quality of attention even for his age. Speech was a little retarded, 
but the conversational quality of his jargon indicated that there 


was only a slight delay in this field, and that, once the regular use 
of words had begun, conversational ability would be likely to 
advance rapidly. 

On the side of personality Richard appeared a cheerful, attrac- 
tive child, responsive, and showing a good quality of interest even 
though it was not maintained for any great length of time in a 
single field. Separation from his father in the Guidance Nursery 
brought out a little initial timidity and one or two brief recurrences 
which were overcome by the guidance worker without much diffi- 
culty. As a result of the first visit it was decided (a) that no 
special effort need be made to bring on the development of language 
since this would probably be aided by the normal social contacts 
in the clinic, (b) that contact with other children would be an 
advantage and that after one or two more visits by himself he 
should come into a small group of other children not too much 
above his own age, (c) that on an early visit he should be served 
a luncheon with one or more other children and that his attitude 
towards eating should be observed at that time, (d) that the sort 
of behavior reported was probably the result of unwise home train- 
ing and of forcing situations, such as feeding, at the wrong time, 
and that this should be the first line of approach in making sug- 
gestions to the mother. 

On the second visit he was brought by his mother ; the initial 
response indicated a strong dependence upon her presence. He 
screamed violently when she started to leave after bringing him 
to the nursery. Her departure was accordingly delayed a few 
minutes to improve his adjustment. He began to cry when she 
eventually left him, and although this first crying was soon over- 
come, there were occasional recurrences throughout the morning. 
On the third visit the same response was obtained when the mother 
first left him, but once the crying was overcome there were no fur- 
ther recurrences, and there was no repetition of the incident on 
later visits. The importance of not permitting too strong a habit 
of dependency to be formed was pointed out to the mother, who 
was showing the best possible attitude of cooperation in carrying 
out our suggestions in the home. 

One or two experimental feedings in the guidance nursery with 
the mother watching from the observation alcove brought out no 
violent responses of the sort reported in the home. Some things 


Richard would feed himself, others he would accept when they were 
fed to him, but there was no negative response to the food itself. 
A visit to the home during the lunch hour brought out clearly the 
difference between the response there and at the clinic. As a spoon- 
ful of food was presented to him, he shook his head, said "No, No," 
and put his hands in his mouth. The mother held his head back 
and forced the food into his mouth, which brought about stiffening 
and screaming. The food was finally swallowed, but the scene was 
repeated with each mouthful, so that after even a very small amount 
of food had been eaten, the child was in a highly tense and excited 
condition. This attempt of the mother to force the feeding was the 
result of a misinterpretation of her doctor's instructions. A con- 
ference between the guidance worker and the family physician 
straightened out this point, so that she realized that such forcing 
to get him to eat was not necessary. It was felt that much of the 
difficulty was due to the fact that the child became hungry some- 
what earlier than his regular lunch hour and that by the time his 
food was actually ready his hunger had largely disappeared. 
Lunches given in the clinic at an early hour have seemed to confirm 
this idea, and it has been recommended that the set hour be changed 
to correct this situation. 

Recent visits have shown, as we expected, a very marked im- 
provement in talking, with frequent use of words in combination 
and even short sentences. The repeated observations have enabled 
us to make an analysis of the feeding problem and to make sugges- 
tions which we are confident will bring about improvement, for 
the difficulty has already become less marked. The over-dependence 
upon the presence of the mother which the child was beginning to 
show has been checked and seems unlikely to recur. The repeated 
conferences with the mother, who has proved to be most intelli- 
gently cooperative, have given her a clearer understanding of 
methods of training and renewed confidence in her ability to apply 
satisfactory methods. 

e. Records. In order to understand the status of a problem 
at any given time, it is necessary to have records showing its history. 
Bach history folder of the Yale Psycho-Clinic contains a face sheet 
on which statistical and identifying information from all sources 
is brought together. This face sheet contains also a brief clinical 
summary describing the nature of the case, the results of the de- 


velopmental examination, and recommendations for handling the 
problem. To this are attached all original examination records, 
samples of the child's drawing, etc. In the same folder is kept the 
guidance history, which is typed on special forms. The distinctive 
feature about these forms is that they allow for the wide flexibility 
in recording which is necessary to fit the needs of the individual 
cases. In separate columns are recorded the dates of successive 
visits, description of the status of the problem, including brief 
accounts of the child's behavior, and a third column for comments 
on the method of procedure and estimate of the results obtained. 

/. D^nctive Feature. The Guidance Nursery has demon- 
strated that it is possible to conduct certain forms of work in pre- 
school and parental education on a dispensatory, or service-unit, 
basis. The organization and procedure are relatively simple and 
economical. They do not entail full-time attendance and the con- 
gregate type of school grouping. These procedures have the same 
individualized adaptability which characterizes a child health 
center, a hospital, or a modern dispensary. It has been shown that 
for many diverse types of child-development problems, occasional 
contacts with a guidance unit are effective. The results of occa- 
sional experience and occasional stimulation carry over; and, in 
spite of certain obvious advantages in daily attendance, such attend- 
ance is not necessary to accomplish positive results in the field of 
parent-child guidance. 

It is suggested that a similar procedure and organization may 
be incorporated into kindergarten practice and into other fields of 
public health and public education concerned with young children, 
whether problem children or normal children. Because of its flexi- 
bility, individualized guidance represents a concept and a method 
of approach administratively applicable to many different situa- 
tions in the field of preschool and parental education. 

6. The Nursery School of the Institute of Child Welfare Research, 
Teachers College, Columbia University 10 

a. Purpose. The Institute of Child Welfare Eesearch, one of 
the three institutes operating under Teachers College, Columbia 

10 This icport was written by Grace Langdon and the staff of the nursery 
schools, Institute of Child Welfare Research, Teachers College, Columbia 


University, fulfills a four-fold function: (1) that of a laboratory 
for research studies in child development, (2) that of an experi- 
mental situation in which an educational policy is being formulated, 
designed to meet adequately the growth needs of children on the 
two- and three-year age-levels, (3) that of a training center pre- 
paring students for nursery-school teaching or for leadership in 
fields of parental education, clinical procedure, and child guidance, 
and (4) that of a demonstration center for students from various 
departments of the University. 

6. Basic Educational Principles. The major principles we con- 
ceive to be eight in number. 

1. A child is daily confronted with many situations, to any 
element of which he responds not singly, but variously. 

2. Through his responses to these many elements he derives a 
variety of meanings, which determine his outlook and outward 

3. Education is concerned, then, with providing those experi- 
ences from which the most desirable meanings may be derived and 
with guiding the responses to the various elements of those experi- 
ences so that more and more serviceable ways of thinking and feel- 
ing, as well as of outward behaving, will ensue. 

4. Ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving are serviceable to 
the degree in which they result in more effective living with others, 
in the building of better and better standards, and in the growth 
of a finer character. 

5. Serviceable ways of thinking, feeling, and of outward be- 
having are the sum total of such separate techniques, habits, atti- 
tudes, and outlooks as make for (a) positive health mental and 
physical, and (b) independent and acceptable living with others. 

6. Every experience, to be educative, should result, then, in the 
growth of the learner in techniques, habits, attitudes, or outlook 
and should to that degree make him individually and socially more 

7. Desirable growth in techniques, habits, attitudes, and out- 
look best takes place in situations in which the learner is free to 
make choices within limits set by the general welfare of the indi- 
vidual and the group, and to discover the desirability of those 
choices by means of the satisfactions and dissatisfactions attending 
the results. 


8. The function of the teacher, therefore, is to : 

(a) Provide the conditions which make a variety of desirable 
experiences possible for each individual in the group, 
and to do so while guided by: (1) significant sci- 
entific findings of experts in various fields, (2) ultimate 
objectives which race experience and changing social 
conditions have shown to be desirable, (3) the learner's 
individual capacity physical, intellectual, social and 
emotional, and (4) the general welfare of the group. 

(b) Effect such a social organization that each member of 
the group may make increasingly independent choices. 

(c) Guide those choices so that they will be within the 
capacity of the individual making them. 

(d) Make certain that choices result in satisfaction or dis- 
satisfaction as the individual and group welfare shall 

(e) Guide the process of the activity so that every possible 
phase of it shall contribute to the growth of the learner 
in techniques, habits, attitudes, or outlook. 

c. Organization. The Institute occupies a five-story, remodeled 
building. The younger and older nursery-school groups occupy the 
third and fourth floors, respectively. Each group has two sleep- 
ing rooms, one play-room, bathroom for children, bathroom for 
adults, and locker space. The roof is divided and equipped to pro- 
vide separate playground space for each group. The garden of a 
nearby children's home provides additional outdoor space for the 
older group. 

Admission to the nursery school is through the younger group 
and is determined by desirability for research, as shown by age, 
sex, race, proximity of residence to nursery school, permanency 
of residence in New York, and general normality. It has been the 
policy to maintain an unselected group in which the parents repre- 
sent unskilled and skilled labor, artisan and professional classes. 

In the younger group twenty children are enrolled, ranging 
from eighteen months to about thirty-two months, and in the older 
group twenty-two children, ranging from thirty months to about 
forty-two months. Overlapping between the groups is occasioned 
by the varying social maturity and emotional stability of individual 


children. Experimentation has made this division into more or 
less homogeneous groups seem advisable, since the interests and 
needs of different age-levels can be met better in separate groups. 
The number of children per teacher varies with the hours of the 
assistants. The nursery school is in session from eight-thirty to 
three, five days per week. 

The teaching staff includes one full-time director for each group, 
with two trained assistants for the younger, and one trained and 
one student assistant for the older group. One assistant with each 
group is on duty from eighty-thirty to one-thirty, and the other 
from eleven to three-thirty. 

The nursery school has access to the services of the Institute 
Staff, consisting of the director and assistant director, both of 
them psychologists ; a physician ; a graduate nurse ; a nutritionist ; 
a home visitor ; a posture specialist ; a business manager ; a house- 
hold manager ; a recorder ; and four research associates in charge 
of psychology, parental education, and general research. 

The procedure of the nursery school is most flexible ; the only 
set times are those determined by physiological needs such as sleep- 
ing and eating. The children arrive between eighty-thirty and 
nine-fifteen, when each child is inspected by the nurse before con- 
tact with any other child. They go outdoors as soon as possible, 
where they play until time for rest before lunch. Orange juice with 
cod-liver oil is served shortly after arrival. The children partici- 
pate in caring for pets, plants, and flowers as occasion offers. Music 
and stories occur at any time in response to the children's interests. 
Rest periods vary according to the needs of individual children; 
some have a mid-morning rest in addition to the rest before lunch. 
Lunch is served at eleven-thirty and is followed by the afternoon 
nap, the length of which varies with different children. After a 
short play period, milk and crackers are served. The children are 
called for by their parents at three o 'clock. 

A close cooperation in promoting the children's welfare exists 
between the nursery-school teaching staff, the institute staff, and 
specialists from Teachers College. 

The physician and nurse direct the health program, which in- 
cludes thorough morning inspections daily, complete physical ex- 
aminations semi-yearly, weighing and measuring, and close co- 


operation with nutritionist, teachers, and parents in building up 
maximal positive health for each child. 

The nutritional program, under the supervision of the Home 
Economics Department of Teachers College, is planned by the 
nutritionist to meet the needs of individual children and is carried 
out in cooperation with teachers and parents. 

Posture examinations are given by the posture specialist, who 
cooperates with the nursery staff in selecting such equipment as 
promotes desirable postural development. 

The research associates in charge of psychological tests examine 
the children twice yearly, reporting results on the usual record 
forms and consulting with the teachers concerning any significant 
outcomes. Realizing that a test under conditions of fatigue, fear, 
or other unusual conditions, results in harm rather than benefit to 
the child, psychologists consult with the teacher concerning the most 
desirable times for testing. 

The nursery-school educational program is materially facili- 
tated by the cooperation of the research associate directing major 
research. Research under her direction is carried on in the regular 
nursery-school situation, not in the laboratory. Results are re- 
ported to the nursery-school teachers from time to time. 

The home visitor, as liaison agent between home and nursery 
school, is thoroughly familiar with both home and school conditions 
and confers with parents and teachers individually and in groups. 

Educational supervision is provided through the Department 
of Kindergarten-First Grade Education of Teachers College. Regu- 
lar group conferences are held with the nursery-school teachers, 
and individual conferences with all others concerned in promoting 
the welfare of the children. This close cooperation makes possi- 
ble a unified educational program. 

The Institute staff meetings held weekly for the clinical dis- 
cussion of individual children offer invaluable help to the nursery- 
school teachers, since they lead to a better understanding of the 
children and make possible a more systematic cooperation. 

The cooperation with parents necessary for the unity of the 
child's program is provided for by four means : (1) by the teacher's 
informal daily interviews, regularly scheduled conferences for dis- 
cussion of the child's progress, occasional informal teas, and a full 
day spent by parents in the nursery school, (2) by the home visitor's 


frequent visits to the home and her scheduled conferences from 
time to time, (3) by daily contacts with the nurse at morning in- 
spection, and (4) by regularly scheduled conferences with director, 
nutritionist, and physician. 

d. A Typical Learning Situation. Jane had been in an isolated 
camp for the summer with her family. Her only outside contacts 
were occasional visits from adult relatives. Her entrance to nurs- 
ery school was her first venture away from her mother. The many 
children, the new playthings, and a teacher instead of her mother 
to attend to her needs, all meant adjustment to entirely new con- 
ditions. Here was a learning situation in which Jane passed 
through the following steps: 

Arriving late, she was brought to the roof where the children were 
playing. She clung to her mother, who explained to the teacher that 
Jane had not been away from home, and it would be hard for her. The 
mother interested Jane in the sand-box, explained that she must go, kissed 
her, and left. Jane walked toward the elevator where her mother had 

She felt lost without her mother and, not knowing what else to do, 
cried. The teacher took her back to the sand-box, and this time Jane 
kicked it. 

The teacher tried to take the place of the mother, tried to interest 
her in the dolls, blocks, or slide, but Jane wanted her mother. 

The teacher tried again. She gained a little of Jane's confidence 
by doing the things that the mother would have done, wiped her eyes 
and nose, told her a story, etc. Then she brought her near groups of 
children who were playing at going marketing with dolls and carriages, 
taking turns riding in a wagon or using swings and slide. Jane turned 
away from each group and went toward the sand-box. The teacher be- 
gan playing with the other children and Jane edged a bit nearer. The 
teacher made room for her without comment, and soon she began to 
play. For five minutes she was contented even after the teacher left. 
She had made a beginning toward adjustment The morning passed 
happily; the teacher frequently joined Jane for a few minutes to estab- 
lish a feeling of security. Jane did not care to eat much; so the amount 
was adjusted to her capacity. At rest period she went to sleep holding 
the teacher's sash. On the second day she was rather unhappy; so on 
the third day her mother called for her after dinner. The next day 
Jane "wanted to sleep with the other children." 

At first Jane was as dependent upon the teacher as she had been 
upon her mother, crying when she left her; but gradually she became in- 
dependent of the teacher and did things without crying for her. She 
was then left in charge of another teacher and later with varying groups 
of children, with or without a teacher. Frequently, the teacher moved 


away from the group. Jane became more and more contented with the 
children without a teacher near. She had learned to feel secure in the 
nursery school. She had made the adjustment to a group outside of her 
home and so in a way had remade her life, had taken a step forward in 
skill, attitude, and outlook. Such a remaking of life is the aim of edu- 
cation to give more content and more meaning and to help the learner 
to acquire more control in living. 

6. Records. The prime function of the nursery-school teacher 
is to provide the physical conditions and the guidance which pro- 
mote the maximal physical, intellectual, social, and emotional 
growth of each child and the general welfare of the group. She 
can provide for such growth only by being thoroughly cognizant of 
the various levels of the growth of each individual child and of 
his interrelation to the group. Careful records of these levels and 
stages of growth, both, for the individual child and for the group, 
therefore seem essential. 

These records serve as a guide to the nursery-school teacher in 
providing for every aspect of the child's growth, as a basis for 
discussing the child's progress with parents and specialists, and as 
data for research workers by providing the general setting for their 
studies and pointing out significant elements of behavior for further 

The present record forms are the result of experiment still going 
on in an attempt to meet adequately the needs just mentioned. The 
following four records are now being kept by the teachers : 

(1) Registration. This card is filled out by the teacher in an in- 
terview with the parent before the opening of school Information is 
recorded concerning the child's habits of play, eating, sleeping, and 
elimination, a knowledge of which makes it possible for the teacher more 
intelligently to meet individual needs. 

(2) Progress. These records are the result of notes taken by the 
teacher from day to day, showing each child's progress toward individ- 
ual responsibility and social integration. These notes are recorded 
under four headings bathroom, sleeping, eating, and play activities. 
Three other headings general attitude, language, and musical re- 
sponses have been added for the purpose of collecting data for special 
research. Twice a year a summary is made from the data on these 
progress cards and discussed with parents individually. 

(3) Parental conference. After any conference with the parent 
a record is made of the discussion and of suggestions given by both 
parents and teachers. 


(4) Sleep and elimination. Records of sleep and elimination are 
kept both by teachers and parents; the latter each morning 1 transfer 
the home record to the chart provided m the nursery school. 

Detailed records are kept by all departments having contact 
with children and all records are filed with the child's complete 
social history in the record room. 

/. Distinctive Feature. The most distinctive feature of the 
Institute Nursery School is its social organization, whereby a day's 
procedure is so flexible that the physical, intellectual, social, and 
emotional needs of the individual and the group may be met at 
any time, and spontaneous responses be so guided that they have 
increasing meaning and result in more desirable choices, more 
serviceable responses, improvement in techniques, and an increas- 
ingly broad outlook. 

Indoors and out, the children will be found carrying on many 
different activities at the same time. Some will be using blocks, 
large or small ; some playing in the doll corner ; others climbing the 
junglegym, playing in the sand, or using hammers and nails. Some 
may be walking or crawling up and down the broad steps leading to 
a platform, and others may be carrying chairs or toys up and down 
the steps. A child may be looking at books alone, with a teacher, 
with one or two other children, or with a teacher and small group 
of children. A small group may be gathered around the piano or 
Victrola where the teacher is playing or singing, or the teacher may 
be singing without the instrument with the children gathered 
around her. A child may be making sing-song noises while swing- 
ing or rocking a doll. The teacher may move near him and several 
times sing a simple rhythmic song about swinging, or a simple 
lullaby which the child may that day or the next or the next week 
try to sing with the teacher or alone. In this way a random in- 
terest is raised to a higher level. 

The children are not divided into groups, but as the year 
progresses two or three or more may spontaneously choose the same 
material and carry on their activities together. The bathroom is 
also a social place. As the children grow more efficient in taking 
care of themselves, many interesting conversations are carried on. 
The teacher often adds bits of information in response to natural 
questions. Often there is spontaneous singing during washing 
and dressing time. 



Bating and sleeping are the only fixed group activities. JEvett 
here there is flexibility. At nap time some children may sleep as 
long as they like, while others must be wakened in order to go to 
sleep early at night. 

This social organization seems to provide the effective conditions 
for growth. 

7. The Nursery School of the Iowa State College of Agriculture 
and Mechanic Arts 11 

a. Purpose. The Nursery School of Iowa State -College at 
Ames, Iowa, is maintained to serve the Child Care and Training 
Department of the Home Economics Division. The keynote of home 
economics at this college is homemaking. The residence program 
has been organized to give senior women an opportunity to be 
trained in, and become familiar with, the care and training of 
children. Obviously, this is one of the most important functions 
of home life. 

b. Basic Educational Principles. The fundamental educational 
convictions which find interpretation in the activities of our school 
are expressed in the provision of an environment planned to give 
the child opportunity for optimal development. 

Emphasis is placed upon formation of correct biological habits, 
such as eating, sleeping, and elimination. Through the develop- 
ment of optimal physical condition, coupled with automatism of 
these habits, thought and energy may be released for additional 
self -development. 

The plan and equipment are so constructed that they may be 
controlled and manipulated by the child. This enables him to be 
resourceful and self-reliant in caring for himself in the activities 
which make up his life as a young child. 

The opportunity for association with his peers under super- 
vision develops an appreciation of social relationships. By sharing 
his play materials and equipment, maintaining his own rights, 
obeying authority, practicing self-control in awaiting his turn, and 
being helpful, the child meets many social situations. 

11 This report is a revision of the material contributed by Lulu B. Lancaster, 
Associate Professor of Household Administration, Iowa State College of Agri- 
culture and Mechanic Arts. 


For the best possible development of his abilities, the child 
needs freedom in the use of his individual capacities. He needs 
material which lends itself to varied forms of creative expression. 
Clay, paints, blocks, paper, and crayons may be used for this pur- 
pose, as may the language and music activities. 

c. Organization. The personnel of the staff consists of the 
director, a consulting psychologist, and two nursery-school teachers. 
Cooperating with this staff are also a doctor in nutrition, a doctor 
in medicine, and the head of the Physical Educational Department. 

The nursery school is housed in a three-story building at the 
edge of the campus. The entire building is given over to the 
nursery school and offices of those who are doing full-time duty on 
the staff. On the lower floor are the kitchen, one of the toilet rooms, 
the cloak room and three offices. On the second floor are the so- 
called playrooms, while the third floor is used for sleeping or for 
play in rainy weather. 

Outdoors a large amount of play space has been fenced in. The 
equipment here consists of a junglegym, a large concession tent, a 
swing, bars, a sand-box, a garden, houses for animals, many trees, 
some of which the children are allowed to climb, plenty of grass, 
and plenty of shade. The indoor equipment is adequate in every 
way for nursery-school work. 

The Program of Activities 

8:45- 9 :o Children arrive. Remove wraps. 

9:00 9:10 Domestic activities dust, fold napkin, take care of 

animals and any pets. 

9 :io- 9 .-40 Quiet free play. Blocks, crayons, paper cutting, writ- 
ing, marking, drawing, peg boards, wood beads, 

9:40-10:00 News, rhythm, dramatization, finger plays. 
10:00-10:15 Toilet and washing of hands. 
10:15-10:30 Mid-morning lunch of fruit and water. 
10 .-30-10 :40 Rest period. 
10:40-11:40 Outdoor play. 

1 1 :4O-i2 .00 Setting of tables and story period. 
12 :oo-i2 :45 Lunch. 
12 :45- i :oo Toilet, 
i :oo- 2 :45 Sleep. 

2 145- 3 :oo Put on shoes. Toilet. Home. 

The program has been very flexible, especially so at times, because 
of cooperation with the Public Speaking Department and the Foods and 


Nutrition Department. The class in story-telling scheduled each of its 
members to tell a story to the children and it was not always possible 
to carry out activities in the exact order outlined on the program. The 
gift of some rats by the graduate students in nutrition and the work 
of the children in feeding and weighing them made changes necessary 
at other times. 

The children have been outdoors for at least part of practically 
every morning. In early spring when the playground was too muddy, 
they stayed on the wide concrete steps; the piano was moved near the 
door, so that we had a very satisfactory place for rhythm exercises, for 
story-telling, and for the mid-morning lunch. During warm weather 
the children were outdoors all the morning except for this lunch and 
rest period. 

Several educational trips were also taken when the playground could 
not be used. For example, the Animal Husbandry Department allowed 
us to take the children through the barns to see the young pigs, lambs, 
calves, and colts. A trip to the campanile and explanation of the chimes 
and the way they were played also proved instructive. Again, a trip 
to the post office to mail a letter and one to the dairy were new to many 
of the children. 

Later in the spring we had three rabbits for the children to help 
feed One of the older boys made a bird house, which the others helped 
to put in a tree. Vegetable and flower gardens were planted by the 
children. They watched the seeds grow and watered them frequently. 
When the radishes and onions were large enough, they were shown how 
to pull them. One or two of the older ones helped with the hoeing of 
the weeds 

In warm weather, story-telling outdoors proved very popular. The 
children were divided into small groups of two and three who gathered 
in shady spots under the trees. The work at the carpentry bench was 
continued outdoors, as well as painting at easels. 

The psychologist, the doctor of medicine, and the doctor of 
nutrition all cooperate with the nursery-school staff and parents. 
The psychologist holds weekly conferences with the staff. The 
doctor of nutrition attends these conferences when she is needed. 
All children have a complete physical examination upon entrance 
and are examined every morning by a nurse from the hospital to 
see that they are not bringing to the nursery school any kind of 
contagion. For any illness that develops during the day, our 
campus physician is subject to call. 

The children of the nursery school come from a selected group 
of parents, mainly those connected with the college or with business. 
The long waiting list enables us to require cooperation from the 


Both parents are expected to attend at least two meetings each 
quarter. One of these is a meeting of all parents for discussion of 
general topics. At the other, the two parents have a conference 
with the director, the psychologist, the doctor of nutrition, and the 
nursery-school teachers about the special problems of the child. 

No children are taken into the nursery school who do not have 
a clean bill of health or who seem to be mentally retarded. Chil- 
dren are selected who represent, as nearly as possible, normal 
healthy childhood. 

During the year we have an average enrollment of about thirty 
children. During the second session of summer school the number 
is reduced about one half, because the summer-session student 
attendance is somewhat lower than the regular yearly student at- 
tendance. The number of children to a teacher is approximately 
twelve to fifteen. 

The nursery school opens at 8:45 and closes at 3-30. 

"We wish to keep the children over a period of two or three years 
if possible. "We prefer to admit only the younger children and let 
them pass on to the older group, but we are not always able to do 
this because of the demands made by parents who are in college 
for a short time and who feel that they should have the privilege of 
having their children in the nursery school while they are studying 
or teaching here. We try to keep about the same number of boys 
and of girls in each group. 

d. A Typical Learning Situation. The dinner hour affords a 
typical learning situation in our school. One of the playrooms is 
arranged for the serving of the noon meal. At noon the children 
find their places at the tables, A student in child care sits at each 
table with three children, one of whom is chosen to act as waiter. 
Grace is sung, after which the waiters serve the dinner. At the 
close of the meal each child removes his dishes. 

Such a situation offers opportunity for the child to learn such 
correct eating habits as (1) to eat a variety of food, (2) to eat all 
of the dinner served to him, (3) to observe proper table etiquette, 
the correct handling of silver, etc. In addition, the dinner hour 
gives the child such social experiences as engaging in conversation 
at the table or the serving of others. 

e. Records. We believe that records are of the greatest im- 
portance. The nursery school fails fundamentally if it does not 


use its opportunity for obtaining factual material about children. 
No other agency, so far as we know, furnishes the same opportunity 
to study children, except possibly the few home management houses 
in colleges of home economics and orphanages where scientists are 
employed to make the studies. In so far as exact records are kept 
in nursery schools and similar places, child study will rise from 
the realm of mere opinion into the field of science. 

Here at Iowa State College we have far to go before approxi- 
mating our ideal in the keeping of records. We are still much too 
limited in number of staff members for this particular work. 

In physical growth, records are kept of height and weight, for 
which measurements are taken every two weeks. Records of causes 
for absence from the nursery school are also kept which should 
throw some light on physical handicaps as they interfere with 
growth. We have records also with respect to disease handicaps, 
particularly contagious diseases before the child enters the nursery 
school. Our records are kept on one half of the children for one 
half the time, for food during the noonday lunch and for sleep 
during the afternoon nap. 

In mental growth the most exact records that we have are in 
mental tests. The psychologist makes tests on each child, using 
the Stanford Revision Binet, the Blanton Speech Test, and the 
Kuhlmann Intelligence Test. Each child is tested as soon after he 
enters the nursery school as he becomes sufficiently adapted to take 
the test. Thereafter, he is tested approximately every six months. 

In addition to the tests, the nursery-school teachers, director, 
and psychologist keep full account of problems of any kind which 
arise. Teachers have notebooks in their pockets always ; anything 
which seems significant is recorded immediately. This material is 
turned over to the psychologist for compilation and interpretation. 

Students in special problems keep records dealing with their 
special problem. At present one of the graduate students is putting 
the children through certain tests which she has improvised to de- 
termine their reaction to music under semi-natural and controlled 
conditions. Another is measuring the reaction of children to visual 
rhythms as determined by combinations of color, size, form, and 
special arrangement. 

/. Distinctive Feature. We are getting at the problem of early 
childhood education in both a direct and an indirect fashion. We 


have nursery-school teachers trained in the best technique. All of 
our thirty-two children are under their supervision for a minimum 
of three hours during the day and one half of them for six and 
one-half hours. 

We believe, however, that our most distinctive feature is in early 
childhood education through the indirect method. There are two 
phases of this work. 

Our nursery school was established to serve as an observational 
laboratory for the students of home economics, of which we gradu- 
ate about 150 each year. These young women are required to take, 
during the senior year, a four-quarter credit course in which the 
nursery school is used as the laboratory. Each student spends a 
minimum of twenty hours observing and working with children in 
the nursery school. Her activities range from helping in the 
preparation of the meal for the children's noonday lunch to the 
observation of methods in solving the complex problems of behavior 
as they arise in the course of the day. The young women who major 
in Child -Care not only have much additional opportunity for ob- 
servation but also much more firsthand experience in working with 

Our primary aim is to teach our students the best-known 
methods of meeting the problems of child care as they arise in the 
home situation. In our teaching we visualize their problems as 
future mothers in American homes. Some of the young women 
who major in the course are looking forward to nursery-school 
teaching. These, of course, have specialized in work bearing on 
that particular interest. 

8. Mary Crane Nursery School 12 

a. Purpose. Mary Crane Nursery School had its origin in an 
affiliation between the National Kindergarten and Elementary Col- 
lege of Evanston, Illinois, and Hull House of Chicago, Illinois. The 
college was to be in charge of the educational program of the 
school and Hull House was to arrange for contacts with specialists 
pediatrician, psychologists, et al. necessary for the conducting of 
an adequate nursery school. The school has been in operation 

M This report, submitted by Nina Kenagy, of the Kindergarten and 
Elementary College, has been revised to bring the material into topical or- 


under the supervision of the college since October, 1925. The pur- 
pose of its organization is four-fold: a demonstration of nursery- 
school education for little children; teacher training for teachers 
of nursery school and kindergarten; parental education for the 
parents of the children enrolled in the school ; and a demonstration 
of a nursery school as a social agency in a settlement. 

1}. Basic Educational Principles. In its procedures the school 
endeavors to meet the changing views of education which have been 
necessitated by the importance which scientific study is placing 
upon the preschool age. Consequently, it holds the conviction that 
both the physical and mental health of an individual are best safe- 
guarded for life by building into the nervous system during these 
early plastic years right habits of living physically, mentally, 
socially, and emotionally. Five essentials are necessary for the 
operation of a program based upon this conviction: the help of 
specialists in handling the health program and behavior problems ; 
a physical environment in which the child can function and which 
he can learn to control ; social contemporaries with whom to play ; 
a definite educational program and orderly routine with specially 
trained teachers in charge ; and a system of parental education to 
insure a carrying over from the school into the home. 

These essentials are definitely provided for in the affiliations 
Miss Jane Addams, head resident at Hull House, made with other 
existing agencies interested in child welfare which are housed with 
the school in the Mary -Crane Nursery Building, in the staff per- 
sonnel of the nursery school, and in the organization of the activities 
of the school. 

c. Organization. In operation, the nursery school is affiliated 
with a number of specialized agencies. The Infant "Welfare Society 
of Chicago has in charge the health program for the children en- 
rolled in the school. One of their pediatricians makes all physical 
examinations. His recommendations for remedial measures are 
carried out by one of their nurses or by the nursery school when 
they can be incorporated in the daily routine. Their dietician has 
charge of the nutritional program. She weighs and measures the 
children monthly and makes out the menus for the noonday meal. 
This society also provides an ultra-violet ray machine. Treatments 
are given as a part of the nutritional program, as well as for rickets 
and all cases of malnutrition. 


The Child Welfare Department of the Chicago Board of Health 
provides a dental clinic where the children's teeth are periodically 
cared for. 

The Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund conducts a weekly 
nutritional class for the older children in the families of the chil- 
dren enrolled in the nursery school. The social workers from the 
United Charities of Chicago secure the social histories of the 
families represented on the school register and do social service 
work in these homes. The Institute for Juvenile Besearch, through 
a behavior clinic known as the Preschool Branch of the Institute 
of Juvenile Research, gives the mental measurements, and their 
psychiatrist gives help on behavior problems. This organization 
also carries on a research program. All of the children in the 
nursery school are registered in this behavior clinic and are once 
a year presented for a case analysis at a staff conference of all the 
affiliated agencies. At this conference all the information each 
agency has upon the case is first reported ; discussion then follows, 
and recommendations are made by the clinic staff. These recom- 
mendations are carried out by the agency in whose respective field 
of work they naturally fall. A follow-up is later made by the 
clinic for results of these measures. The following information is 
given at staff conferences by the agencies indicated : 

1. Social History Social worker, United Charities. 

2. Developmental History Nurse, Infant Welfare Society. 

3. Nutritional History Dietician, Infant Welfare Society. 

4. Physical Examination Pediatrician, Infant Welfare Society. 

5. Nutritional program in the home Nutritional worker, Elizabeth 
McCormick Memorial Fund. 

6. Psychiatric Findings Psychiatrist, Behavior Clinic Preschool 
Branch Institute of Juvenile Research. 

7. Psychological Findings Psychologist, Behavior Clinic Pre- 
school Branch Institute of Juvenile Research. 

8. Nursery School Report Nursery School Director. 

These case records are filed in the behavior clinic and a sum- 
mary report, with a recommendation, is made to the cooperating 

The staff of the nursery school, which is selected and supervised 
by the National Kindergarten and Elementary College, is composed 
of specially-trained and experienced workers, a director, and two 


teachers. A group of ten student teachers in training at the college 
assists in the various activities. 

There are two groups of children, ages two and three years, and 
ages four and five years, respectively. Each group is limited to 
twenty-five in enrollment. While the basis for grouping is the 
chronological age, no hard and fast line is drawn. The child is 
placed in the group which his mental and social development in- 
dicates. Application for admission is made through the Infant 
Welfare Society and United Charities for children they find in 
their field work. These applications are presented to the staff con- 
ference for approval, then placed on the waiting list until a suitable 
time for admission by the director. Children are admitted for 
various reasons : behavior problems, nutritional problems, economic 
situations in the home, and sometimes because of the need of 
parental education. 

The school tries to keep a good balance between the difficult 
behavior problems and the more normal children. Because of the 
locality in which the school is situated, it is necessary to consider 
the economic conditions in the homes in relation to the length of 
the school day. For the children of the working mother the doors 
are open from 7 :00 A.M. until 5 :20 P.M. For the other children 
the regular school-day hours are observed. The school operates on 
an all-day basis with a midday lunch, special feedings of fruit juice 
and cod-liver oil, and a nap in the afternoon. 

Each group occupies two rooms separated from each other by 
the nursery-school office. These rooms are equipped with indoor 
play apparatus and supplied with educational materials to meet the 
respective period of development of the children in each group. 
There is a large open-air porch which is used for both play and 
sleeping purposes, and two bathrooms equipped with bath tubs and 
so arranged that each child has his individual cake of soap, wash 
cloth, towel, comb, and tooth brush. Each group has separate locker 
rooms for wraps and changes of clothing. A surfaced playground 
adjoins the building and is equipped with a junglegym, seesaws, 
slide, wagons, tricycles, climbing apparatus, boards, blocks, boxes, 
kiddy kars and coasters. There are also tables for educational ma- 
terials, blackboards and easels, so that the outdoor hours of the 
children may be prolonged as much as possible when the weather 


The all-day program of the nursery school affords opportunity 
for varied educational activities : 

First, it permits activities which develop habits of personal 
hygiene and right living, such as washing face and hands, brushing 
teeth, bathing, dressing and undressing, proper and regular feed- 
ing, satisfactory and regular eliminations, relaxation, sleep, and 
wholesome recreation. Incident to the building up of such habits 
is the development of the appreciation of their values and the con- 
sequent right attitude toward them and independence in the per- 
formance of them. The adjustment of the child to his social con- 
temporaries and the adults in his environment, also, gives occasion 
for the development of social habits and emotional controls. 

Second, it permits curriculum activities for pleasure as well as 
both physical and mental development, e.g., excursions, conversa- 
tion periods, handwork, painting and drawing, stories, music in 
song and rhythm. These activities arise out of, and are incident to, 
the natural play situations and interest of childhood ; they are not 
parts of a definitely organized program. This procedure is to pro- 
vide a creative environment which will not only conserve the per- 
sonality of each child but also allow it freedom for creative expres- 
sion. The following flexible schedule is suggestive of the day's 


7 100-9 :oo 

Arrival of children. 
Health inspection downstairs. 

Weighing and measuring of children on their birth dates. 
Routine of care for wraps, eliminations, clean-up in bathroom. 
Free play in nursery room until arrival of teachers who assist in 
conducting the general activities. 

Activities which occur simultaneously with the general educational 

Educational activities indoors or outdoors as weather permits. The 

older group usually spend half hour indoors before going 


Bathing program in progress. 
Ultra-violet ray treatment. 
Psychological measurements. 
Physical examinations. 


Corrective posture exercises. 

Extra feedings for undernourished children. 


Outdoor posture exercises. 

Short conversation period and story hour after coming upstairs. 
Bath routine m preparation for noon meal. 
Washing hands and face, combing hair. 
Relaxation on individual rugs 20 minutes. 


Noon meal, children serving each other. 
Preparation in bathroom for afternoon nap. 

Undressing for nap. Older children have freedom of their rooms 
while waiting for younger children to vacate bathroom. 

12 :3 
Afternoon nap. 

Dressing and folding up of blankets by older group. 
Afternoon feeding of fruit juice and cod-liver oil. 
Continuance of educational program, either indoors or outdoors, 
until arrival of parents. 

3 :oo-5 :oo 

Children of working mothers outdoors if weather permits until ar- 
rival of mother. 

The teaching technique of the school is based on two considera- 
tions. First, if learning is to take place through practice with. 
satisfying accompaniments, an environment nrnst be provided in 
which a child can adequately function so that the necessary readi- 
ness to learn is secured. Learning is then measured by the de- 
gree with, which the child controls that environment. Second, 
each situation within the environment is a learning situation and 
one to which the child makes his adjustment through the learning 
process. "When the situation is learned or the child functions ade- 
quately in it, a habit or hierarchy of habits is built up and is auto- 
matically performed. Arrange the environment to the child 's 
physical and mental level and it of itself is a satisfying accompani- 
ment to the learning process. The rounding out of each learning 
situation with adequate equipment, as the exact height of a chair 
in learning the sitting posture, or with sufficient supplies, as tooth- 
paste in the tooth-brushing situation, insures necessary satisfaction. 
A definite place or definitely designed receptacle for specific tools 
or toys also aids the learning process. Adult approval in language 


or facial expression aids in shifting undesirable responses of learn- 
ing to desirable ones. 

d. Typical Learning Situation. A child entered the nursery 
school on her second birthday, December first. One Saturday in 
March the mother with the child had occasion to come into the 
school. The child immediately ran to her favorite haunts of play 
and the following observation was made of her. She went to a low 
cupboard, took a pair of scissors from the scissors holder, a piece 
of enlarged crayon from the crayon holder, and a piece of paper 
from a tray and placed them on one of the low tables. She then 
seated herself and began making marks on the paper with crayons 
for several minutes. The crayon was then laid on the table and 
she went to get the waste-paper basket, placing it by her chair. 
She again seated herself, picked up the scissors, and chewed rather 
than cut off small bits of paper which she carefully put one by 
one in the basket. When she grew tired of this activity, she put 
both scissors and crayon back in their respective holders, and the 
piece of paper which was left, back in the tray from which she 
had taken it, and the waste-paper basket back where it belonged. 
Analysis is hardly necessary to point out that here was a situation 
in which a child could adequately function and that readiness, 
practice, and satisfaction insured the learning which had so evi- 
dently taken place. 

e. Records. The record keeping in the school has been used 
for two purposes : first, to secure as accurate a picture as possible 
of the child and his progress, and second, as an aid in teacher- 
training. Two sets of records are kept, one of the child's habit- 
formations and one of his reactions to educative materials and to 
other human beings. The habits recorded are mainly those which 
have to do with health and personal hygiene for which a daily 
routine has been established. The habits have been listed in each 
situation in their sequential order, so that the learning is minimized 
for the child. A checking system has also been devised to minimize 
the time for taking the record yet give adequate information. 
The code used for the educational records and social reactions aims 
at a technique to aid the student-teacher in the analytical study of 
children's behavior and of how to change undesirable behavior. It 
also aims at a technique for intelligent guidance of the educational 
program. Responses to a questionnaire answered when the student 


leaves her practice period indicate that the record-keeping, to- 
gether with conferences, is an aid in the acquisition of teaching 
techniques and in the objective study of children's reactions. 

/. Parental Education. The parents of the children attending 
the nursery school are characteristic of a settlement district, many 
of them still retaining old-world standards of living. Three out- 
standing needs of the children at the opening of the school prepared 
the way for a program of parental education : proper food, cloth- 
ing, and cleanliness. Language difficulties complicated the problem. 
Consequently, activities began in the organization of a sewing and 
cooking class. The sewing class met in one of the nursery-scliool 
rooms where the mothers came in contact with its environment and 
with ideals of cleanliness, regularity, and orderliness. Garments 
were made for the children which eliminated elastic bands at the 
waist and knees. Instruction was given as to the proper amount 
of clothing to wear. This was done because objections were made 
at first to the bathing program in the nursery school and to the 
requests for the removal of the many layers of knitted sweaters 
found under the outside garments of the children. 

The cooking class was conducted in the cooking-school room at 
Hull House by the dietitian from the Infant Welfare Society. It 
included lessons in food values, wholesome ways of cooking, the 
selection and purchasing of proper foods, and attractive ways of 
serving them. 

These class hours were often followed by a social hour around 
the piano where the songs the children loved were taught to the 
mothers so that they might enjoy them together at home. When a 
sufficient English vocabulary had been acquired by the mother, 
simple talks on child care and guidance were given. These weekly 
evenings at the nursery school were often ended with folk games. 

In addition to this work done by the nursery school, each mother 
is given instruction and expert advice relative to the particular 
problems her child presents. This is done by the specialists in the 
affiliated organizations, the pediatrician, the psychologist, the psy- 
chiatrist, and the dietitian. Social workers give help in her home- 
making problems. 

g. Distinctive Feature. The affiliation of agencies already in 
existence in the different fields of child welfare and their pooling of 
information at the staff conferences in the diagnosis of the child- 


ren's behavior is the most outstanding feature of the Mary Crane 
Nursery School. The utilization of this plan, with all its social and 
educational implications, for the training of nursery-school teachers 
is also of importance. 

9. The Merrill-Palmer Nursery School 13 

a. Purpose. The Merrill-Palmer School, of which the nursery 
school is but a part, was established under the will of Mrs. Lizzie 
Merrill Palmer. The clause providing for the school reads some- 
what as follows : 

I hold profoundly the conviction that the welfare of any community 
is divinely, and hence inseparably, dependent upon the quality of its 
motherhood and the spirit and character of its home, and moved by this 
conviction, I hereby bequeath the remainder of my Estate for the found- 
ing of a school to be known as the Merrill-Palmer Motherhood and 
Home Training School, at which young women shall be educated and 
trained with special reference to fitting them for the discharge of the 
functions and service of wifehood and motherhood. 

Educators, especially in the field of home economics, had been 
aware for some time of the need for giving their students something 
more adequate than a theoretical knowledge of the child. More 
knowledge of child life was needed, as well as some device whereby 
students might have laboratory experience with children in a 
laboratory which would be of unquestioned advantage to the child. 

It was this same problem of devising some satisfactory method 
of providing practical experience with children which those charged 
with the responsibility of carrying out the provisions of Mrs. 
Palmer's will had to face. In the nursery school, already accepted 
in England as part of the educational system, they found the sug- 
gestion for its solution. 

Plans were made to offer college students courses in the physical 
and mental growth and social life of the child, with experience 
and observation in the nursery school supplementing the classroom 
work. This was put into effect in January, 1922. Through a co- 
operative arrangement, the students were to receive credit toward 
their degree at their own. colleges for the work done at the Merrill- 
Palmer School. 

a This report was written by Winifred Rand, of the staff of the Merrill- 
Palmer School of Homemaking. 


The purpose of the under graduate course, which has been 
planned on a term or semester basis, is to give the students general 
information about childhood. 

Graduate students who come for a year's study usually spe- 
cialize in some physical or psychological aspect of the problem of 
child care. Some of them definitely plan to enter the field of 
nursery-school teaching; others, the field of parental education, 
social work, research in child development, or the teaching of child 
care. But whatever their plans, it is the conviction of those guiding 
the policies of the school that practical experience is an essential 
part of their course. All students, therefore, have definite assign- 
ments for observation in the nursery school and for actual participa- 
tion in its program. Every activity of the day, no matter how 
humble it may seem, is considered a learning process. Each situa- 
tion is one toward which the child may learn to have the right 
attitude, or, if unwisely treated, the wrong one. To become ac- 
quainted with all these learning opportunities, the students have 
responsibility, under supervision, in various child activities. In 
the cloakroom, toilet room, playroom, and workroom, on the play- 
ground, at dinner, during the nap period, and in the laboratory 
where the children go for their monthly weighing and measuring, 
students are at work. 

~b. Basic Educational Principles. The nursery-school program 
is a program of living, the lessons learned are not in books, but 
are lessons learned by doing and by living healthfully and in accord 
with one's fellow-beings. The teacher in the nursery school is, one 
might say, background. But when the situation offers the oppor- 
tunity for a lesson, perhaps in sharing with another, perhaps in 
eating unwanted spinach, hers is the responsibility to present that 
lesson. It must be done in such a way that-the child or the group 
may grasp the idea and desire to act upon it/ 

An environment rich in the possibilitiesior varied experiences 
on the child's level socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically 
has behind it in its planning more in the way of fundamental prin- 
ciples than one would at first believe, ^figre, for a part of each day, 
children live together in groups and as independent individuals, 
healthfully and happily active under the guiding hand of a skilled 
teacher. That children learn by doing, that pleasure is an essential 
help in learning, that the early years are important years, and 


that freedom for expression of individual interests is a necessary 
part of well-rounded living, these are all guiding principles in plan- 
ning the program of the nursery school. Furthermore^ is believed 
that the group made up of children from approximately one period 
in, childhood is one, of the most helpful influences in learning the 
right social lessons^' 

The nursery-school day should be a day of simple, healthful 
living. The proper attention should be given to a child's physical 
needs, and his ability to cooperate with interest and intelligence in 
caring for himself should be recognized. Thus he forms good 
physical habits. xChe daily inspection by a nurse each morning as 
a safeguard against the spread of infection; the glass of water, 
the tomato juice and cod-liver oil ; the toilet ; the dinner ; the nap ; 
the round of daily duties; the monthly weighing, measuring, and 
occasional visit to the dentist or other specialist ; each is accepted, 
not as a meaningless task imposed upon the child from the outside 
by some adult in power, but as a routine in which he takes an active, 
responsible, and leading partTJ 

The day should be one of happy, joyous activity indoors and 
outdoors, with toys and equipment that call for doing and creating. 
The school should offer things that are big and heavy, that will call 
every muscle into play, things that allow for climbing and balanc- 
ing, in order that the child may gain skill in the control of his body, 
and tiny things that call for skill in handling, that the child may 
learn to control his small muscles as well as his large muscles. It 
should also offer things that may classed as raw materials that 
will call a child's imagination into play; things that will train 
his senses of sight and touch and judgment of size and shape; 
things that will stimulate him to play with a group ; things that 
he may play with by himself ; and things which may help him learn 
to concentrate. All these should be found on playground or in 
playroom. Carts there are, and bicycles, but not enough for every- 
one not only because all will not want them, but also because the 
lessons in sharing and taking turns are lessons which may be, and 
are, learned through play. 

The day should be one which allows for some individual choice 
of activity and also for group thought and action. It should be one 
in which there is richness added unto life through the joy of music 
and rhythmical expression, through story or verse, and through 


contact with beauty. This should be in simple form as expressed by 
picture, color, and form, and found in sun and sky and birds and 

The day should be one providing the child with responsibility 
for his person, his things, and his deeds, and with opportunities 
to learn his responsibility to his fellow-men. 

The nursery-school day is a busy, but not a hurried day ; serenity 
must be a keynote. Every bit of equipment, every toy, and every 
activity is planned to fulfill some one of the day's requirements. 
In a cloakroom where hooks are low and lockers are marked with 
individual picture tags, children learn to take care of their own 
things. They learn also to master the intricacies of buttoning and 
unbuttoning, of putting on and taking off. In a toilet room where 
the equipment fits their size the lessons in self-help and responsi- 
bility go on. In a playroom where the shelves are low the indi- 
vidual child may make his own choice of material and assume his 
own responsibility for putting it away. In the daily tasks, such as 
setting tables, carrying trays, putting away mats, or doing other 
household tasks, the children may experience the satisfaction found 
in cooperation and helpfulness, as well as acquire skill in control 
of body. 

In group activity there are countless lessons to be learned 
through sharing, through watching each other, through doing things 
together, through doing things alone but before the group, and 
through rhythmical, dramatic play. Through wisely-guided ob- 
servation, through wise answers to proffered questions, and through 
using the children's experiences or the children's interests, their 
knowledge may be increased and their experience broadened. 

The weighing and measuring laboratory is an attractive room 
with equipment which makes it a children's room, very different 
from the one called to mind by the term "laboratory." Here chil- 
dren learn how much they grow and how it is accomplished ; and 
many an attitude of rebellion toward carrots or a nap, or whatever 
it may be, is changed by visits to that room. 

On the playground, at dinner, in the laboratories at the Merrill- 
Palmer School, the living goes on and the learning goes on learn- 
ing in which the emphasis is on the lessons in social relationships 
and on the development of desirable attitudes toward self and one's 
physical life, as well as toward others. The learning how to do 


is more easily observed than the learning how to be, but every day 
gives examples of both types. 

c. Organization. Each day the children are in the nursery 
school from about nine in the morning till three-thirty in the after- 
noon. They represent many types of family background within the 
wide range of the so-called 'middle class.' Physical examinations, 
mental tests, family and developmental histories are taken before 
admission. These must assure the school that the child is normal 
physically and mentally and that the family will give the cordial 
cooperation which is required. 

The school desires to study the growth and development of 
normal children, and it is desirable to have the children over as 
long a period as possible for that purpose. Therefore, the general 
policy is to admit a child at as early an age as is practical. A 
child may be admitted to the nursery school at eighteen months; 
he may remain in the school until the end of the semester following 
his fifth birthday. Rarely is one admitted after his third birthday. 
On occasions, when the ranks between three and four years have 
been depleted by the premature withdrawal of a child, one of the 
same age and sex may be selected to fill that place. This is done 
because the school desires to have its fifty-five children represent 
all ages between eighteen months and five years and be fairly evenly 
divided between the sexes. 

The nursery-school children are divided into two groups. In 
the one group of thirty children, the whole range of ages is repre- 
sented; in the other of twenty-five children, the oldest is three 
years and seven months of age. The school has adopted this policy 
because it wishes to have one group which is more or less typical of 
what must inevitably be found in most nursery schools of small 
size ; that is, children of various ages from eighteen months to five 
years in one unit. The school believes, on the other hand, that there 
are advantages in having children in one group who are more 
nearly of an age ; for the difference in development is great between 
the child of eighteen months and the child of five years. When all 
ages are represented, there is the advantage to the older children 
of having experiences in the consideration and care of smaller 
children. There are some younger children who successfully with- 
stand what is sometimes undue 'mothering,' whether done by boy 
or girl, and who seem to profit by contacts with older children. On 


the other hand, there are some children for whom this is not the 
wisest experience, who learn more easily and adjust more readily 
in the younger group. Choice is made of one group or the other 
on the basis of the child's physical and social needs. 

Each group is housed in quarters not built for a nursery school, 
but adapted to meet its needs. The older group has the large rooms 
which were once private art galleries, and which are on two floors. 
The younger group has rooms on the first floor of what was formerly 
a private residence, and the added advantage of a shelter outdoors 
where they sleep daily, even throughout the winter months. 

For each group there are two teachers who, though they have 
the assistance of students, also have the responsibility of training 
them in the actual practice of dealing with the children. The 
school found its first nursery-school teachers in England, since at 
that time there were no women trained for nursery-school work in 
this country, and it has continued to look to England for its head 
teachers. The English-trained woman has an all-round point of 
view which gives her an excellent sense of balance between the 
physical, mental, and social values in child care. This fits her 
particularly well to work with a staff of specialists f or the staff of 
the school includes many more than the nursery-school teachers. 

The physical care of the children is under the supervision of a 
physician, a nutritionist, and their assistants, and other specialists 
in this field who are called in from time to time as the need arises. 
The mental growth and development of the children is the concern 
of psychologists who do the mental testing and advise in regard to 
the treatment from the point of view of behavior and mental 
capacity. Knowledge of the children's home conditions is gained 
from a home visitor. Through her contacts with the parents better 
cooperation is sought, and a program in parental education is de- 
veloped with the assistance of the whole staff. Research in the 
various fields of the nursery-school child's growth is carried on by 
each department and also through cooperative effort. 

With a departmentalized staff of specialists there arises the 
danger of getting the child pigeonholed in various sections with no 
one person or group to observe him as a whole. To obviate this 
danger, there is a nursery-school committee, representing the vari- 
ous departments of the school, which meets regularly for mutual 
discussion and decision of nursery-school matters. 


d. Typical Learning Sitiiation. A small boy, two years and 
five months old, desires to help put away the gay-colored linens 
that serve as table-cloths. He has before this helped to roll and 
put away the mats, and he practices the same technique with the 
rather stiff linen, but the rolled linen will not stay rolled when he 
puts it on the shelf. After several attempts he accidentally suc- 
ceeds in making it stay because it has caught in a groove at the side 
of the cupboard. It is at this point that the watchful teacher steps 
in to give some help in the learning. She calls Jimmy's attention 
to herself as she folds another cloth into the creases which show 
plainly across its length and breadth. Jimmy watches with eager 
interest and then he, too, folds a table-cloth and takes it to the 
cupboard. Here, again, there is difficulty; for the folded linen 
will not stay balanced on the stiff roll of linen still lying on the 
shelf, but slides out on to the floor. This puzzles Jimmy, but he 
does not turn to the teacher for help. Self-reliance has been de- 
veloping within him during his three months in the nursery school ; 
so he struggles interestedly with his own problem. He turns the 
square upside down ; he turns it round and round ; he presses it 
down hard with a pat of his hand, but always the folded linen rolls 
to the floor. He peers into the cupboard to discover if there is 
something wrong there. He looks all around its sides and at the 
shelf. As he looks, one sees a light flash across his face. He puts 
the folded square which is in his hand back upon a table ; he takes 
the rolled linen out of the cupboard, unrolls it, and folds it, places 
it back on the shelf and on top of it places the next square. His 
method succeeds! He has solved his problem. All the table- 
cloths are put away. Jimmy has learned more than one lesson 
through that experience, while habits of self-reliance, persistence, 
investigation, and helpfulness have been strengthened. 

e. Records. Daily records are kept at school regarding: the 
child's attendance; causes for absence; elimination at school; the 
amount eaten ; the time taken for eating dinner, which is planned 
to meet half his daily food requirement; the nap period; and 
such other events and behavior as are considered important for 
notation. A daily report is sent home with each child to give the 
parents the information in regard to dinner, nap, toilet, and im- 
portant behavior situations. Daily reports from the home are asked 
for in order that the school may have the information as to home 


meals, the night's sleep, elimination, and the water intake. 

Once a week the school menus for the ensuing week are sent 
home in order that the home menus may be more intelligently 
planned through knowledge of what the child has to eat in school. 

Twice a year the child is given a complete physical examination, 
and once a month he is weighed and measured. A report is sent 
to the parents, with any comment which might be helpful. 

Twice a year, at six-month intervals, the child is given a mental 
test. The record includes not only the rating score but also com- 
ments on the child's personality traits as shown by his behavior in 
the test situation. 

Once a year a summary of the child's growth and development 
physical, mental, and social is made from the combined observa- 
tions of the staff members who are familiar with him. A copy of 
this summary is sent to the parents, with recommendations as to 
methods of dealing with him. 

These records have various objects in view : they bring together 
material which may add to our knowledge of child life, which may 
be used for teaching purposes, which may help us in dealing more 
adequately with the individual child, and which will be helpful 
to the parents in their dealing with him. 

/. Distinctive Feature. As records have more than a single 
purpose, so, too, has the Merrill-Palmer Nursery School more than 
a single purpose. It seeks to provide an environment where the 
little child may be freed for satisfactory growth; it seeks knowl- 
edge of the little child in order to impart knowledge; it seeks to 
teach through giving practical experience to students. It further- 
more seeks to share its experiences with the parents of the nursery- 
school children in order to win their intelligent cooperation in the 
nursery-school program and in order to give them what they so 
much desire added knowledge and wisdom which will make for 
a better environment for their children and the children to come. 

10. The Nursery Training School of Boston 14 
a. Purpose. The Nursery Training School of Boston was or- 
ganized January, 1922, as the Buggies Street Nursery School. At 
that time the Managing Board declared their purpose in organiza- 

M This report, except for slight revisions, was written by Gertrude E. 
Athearn, Assistant Director of the Nursery Training School of Boston. 


tion to be three-fold: to give the best possible opportunity for 
development to children between the ages of two and four, to train 
parents through observation and conference with experienced teach- 
ers, and to train young women in the science and art of nursery- 
school education. 

6. Basic Educational Principles. Believing that the child be- 
comes predisposed to definite types of conduct and of thought dur- 
ing the first years of his life, this school aims to provide for him a 
social environment of his peers in which he may learn to adjust 
himself to the group, without losing his own individuality. 

Believing that the preschool child learns more through feeling 
than through words, this school has developed an educational policy 
which surrounds the child with an environment controlled by an 
artistic teacher. 

c. Organization. The staff of the nursery school is as follows : 
an educational advisor, a psychiatric advisor, an organizing director, 
five teachers, (one supervisor, two critic teachers, two part-time 
teachers in training), a nutrition worker, and a secretary. 

The school is housed in a remodeled dwelling house, providing 
space, light, and sunshine. The rooms are, listed in accordance with 
our use of them : three large playrooms, three washrooms, five chil- 
dren 's toilets, two outdoor floored play porches, an indoor play- 
room for sliding, a nurse's and dietitian's room, a carpentry room 
in the basement, an isolated room, an office, and a students' room. 
These rooms are equipped to meet the needs for which they are 

The day's program which follows, while well-defined, is suffi- 
ciently elastic to allow for any necessary changes. 

8:30 School opens. 

8 130 to 9 130 Nurse's examination, toilet, gargle with salt water, 

free play outdoors. 
9:30 to 10:00 Music period, tone matching, rhythms, posture 


10:00 to 10:15 Rest. 

10:15 to 10:25 Toilet, wash hands for lunch. 
10:25 to 10:45 Mid-morning lunch. 
10:45 to II :io "Occupational," or constructive handwork, period. 

11 :io to ii :45 Free play outdoors. 

11:45 to 12:00 Toilet, preparation for dinner. 

12 :oo to I :oo Dinner, toilet, brush teeth, remove shoes. 


i :oo to 3 :oo Afternoon nap. 

3.00 to 4:00 Put on shoes, drink milk, orange or tomato juice. 

Free play until parents call from 3:15 to 4:00. 
4:00 School closes. 

"We have been experimenting with a summer program, which 
keeps the children indoors during the hottest part of the day, but 
no program has been definitely accepted. The following, however, 
seems to be the most satisfactory, although it will doubtless undergo 
a great many changes. 

8:30 School opens. 

8:30 to 9:30 Nurse's examination, toilet, gargle, free play out- 

9 130 to 10 :o5 Free play outdoors. 
10:05 to 10:10 Toilet, preparation for lunch, morning "circle," 

singing of hymn and good-morning song. 
10:10 to 10:25 Rest. 

10:25 to 10:45 Mid-morning lunch crackers and milk. 
-10:45 to ii :io Music. 

11:10 to 11:45 "Occupational" period, free play. 
11:45 to 12 .00 Toilet, preparation for dinner. 
12 -oo to i :oo Dinner, toilet, brush teeth, remove shoes 
i :oo to 3 :oo Afternoon nap. 
3:00 to 4*00 Put on shoes, drink milk, free play until parents 

call from 3:15 to 4:00. 
4:00 School closes. 

The nursery school cooperates extensively with the social, 
medical, and educational institutions of the city. Chief among 
them are the habit clinics, church, home and school visitors, Family 
"Welfare Association, Forsyth Dental Clinic, and the Children's 

Our school is situated in one of the poor sections of Boston, on 
the border of the Irish and Negro districts. Parents are skilled and 
unskilled workers, making twenty-five to thirty-five dollars a week. 
Most of the fathers can provide their large families with the necessi- 
ties of life. Last year eight of our thirty-nine mothers were work- 
ing. "We have, also, a large number of young Jewish children and 
a few children of graduate students and instructors. 

At least half of the work of this school is carried on with 
the parents, whose cooperation is necessary for admittance. Five 
aspects may be noted. (1) There are frequent informal conferences 
between parents and teachers at school, on the street, and by 
telephone. (2) Teachers, especially the nutrition worker, visit fre- 


quently in the homes of the children. (3) Parents are asked to 
visit and observe whenever possible. (4) Parents are urged to 
keep regularly one day a week at the school. (5) There are regular 
monthly parents' meetings. 

Parents come to make application, recommended by the Habit 
Clinic, Children's Hospitals, and by social agencies. Frequently, 
a mother, while passing the school, sees children at play and wishes 
the same opportunity for her child. Children are admitted from 
our waiting list. The rules of the school require that the child be 
vaccinated before entering, that he come regularly, and that parents 
be cooperative. A fee of $1 00 a week is charged, but may be re- 
duced to a half or even a fourth of that amount. 

Fifty children two to four years old may be enrolled at one 
time in our two groups. There is no age distinction between these 
groups; we attempt to keep them as nearly equalized as possible. 
Because of room space there are twenty-three children in one group 
and twenty-seven in the other. For this number of children there 
are two regular teachers, assisted by the director and nutrition 
worker. During the school year there are also two practice stu- 
dents in each group. 

d. Records. The purpose for which our records are used is 
to promote the teacher's efficiency and to enable students and 
parents better to understand the development of each child. We 
hope that some day the records may provide sufficient material 
for research. 

We keep four types of records : social, health, educational, and 
a kindergarten questionnaire for those children who have entered 
kindergarten. The educational record is written for each child 
every three months by the head teacher in each group, after con- 
ference with the other teachers in contact with him. These records 
are largely subjective and are therefore initialled. They consist 
of a concise picture of the child's development in the control of 
(1) body, (2) matter, (3) speech, (4) sensory activity, (5) emo- 
tional activity, (6) higher mental powers, and (7) moral and social 
behavior. The questionnaire was built by our director in con- 
sultation with Dr. Johnson of Harvard. 

e. Distinctive Features. Perhaps the most distinctive contribu- 
tion of this school will be in the field of personality development, 
in which an intensive study is now being made. 


11. The Play School for Habit Training 15 

a. Purpose. The Play School for Habit Training, North Ben- 
net Street Industrial School, Boston, Massachusetts, is an experi- 
ment limited to one section of the preschool field. It was organized 
in 1922 to determine, if possible, the value of group training with 
children already so maladjusted as to be outstanding behavior prob- 
lems to parents, visiting nurses, school, and social visitors. We 
wished to try this social adjustment, this reconditioning of poor 
habits and establishing of desirable ones, in association with the 
home situation which would continue to influence the child. 

Our objectives defined themselves as follows : 

1. To study the underlying causes of antisocial behavior and 
maladjustments in young children. 

2. To experiment with methods for reconditioning wrong atti- 
tudes and establishing healthy emotional reactions. 

3. To demonstrate what changes, if any, could be made in un- 
desirable attitudes in a specially planned environment, and to 
determine, if such changes were successful, to what extent they 
could then be made to carry over into the home environment where 
the trouble started. 

To accomplish these aims, our program covers the following 
points : 

1. Special study and training in the school itself. 

2. A careful evaluation of elements in the home situation. 

3. Individual case records covering the child's school activities 
and, as far as possible, his home reactions. 

4. Consultation, and cooperative work with the clinic staff, with 
special staff conferences on the most difficult cases. 

5. Such modification of the home environment as can be ac- 
complished through contact with the mother in conferences and 
visits, and in cooperation with the clinic workers. 

6. Follow-up work with the children who leave us for public 
school by means of an "after school club," by occasional confer- 
ences with their parents and teachers, and by letters and visits to 
those who move from our district. 

u This report, except for slight revisions, was written by Grace Caldwell, 
Director of the Play School for Habit Training, North Bennet Street Indus- 
trial School, Boston. 


6. Organization. The school staff consists of four regular 
workers: a director on full time, a trained assistant on full time, 
an assistant on half time, and a student from a kindergarten- 
training school coming in a half-day for a three-month period. 

The director has general oversight. She works closely enough 
with the children to have personal knowledge of each child's prob- 
lems and progress. She makes staff: and family contacts and joins 
the full-time assistant in the record keeping. 

Each assistant takes direct charge of a group. The student is 
usually assigned as helper with the younger children. 

Our group is limited to problem children of preschool age. They 
are now selected by the psychiatrist in charge of the local station 
of the State Habit Clinics under the direction of Dr. Douglas Thorn. 

Each child comes to us with a case history made up of reports 
from the examining psychiatrist, psychologist, and the social 
visitor, with a tentative diagnosis of the problem and some 

When the child is admitted to the school, the mother is expected 
to report to the clinic for further advice in her handling of the 
problem. The social worker continues her visits. School and clinic 
report important developments to each other. 

The enrollment is limited to sixteen and does not reach this 
number until the middle of the year, as we admit a new child only 
when the enrolled group shows fair progress toward adjustment. 
The children are registered between the ages of two and five years 
and remain as long as definite results are obtained. A portion of 
the group attending the play school in the morning are enrolled 
in public kindergartens in the afternoon. Whenever possible, the 
children are taken from families already known to us. We give 
preference to relatives or neighbors of these families. This policy 
affords opportunities for longer and more intensive study of family 
situations and for sorting out factors not always apparent in our 
first contacts. Mentally deficient children are not admitted. 

Our problem is somewhat conditioned by the fact that the 
school is located in a congested district of foreign born. The chil- 
dren are 95 percent of South Italian parentage ; the remainder are 
of Jewish, Spanish, or Italian-Irish descent. 

The economic status varies from borderline destitution to in- 
comes averaging thirty to forty dollars weekly. Even with the most 


prosperous, living space is pitifully limited, with its twin evils 
noise and lack of privacy. None have bathrooms, and sleeping 
accommodations are inadequate. On the other hand, few families 
are without electric lights, gas ranges, radios, victrolas, and some 
boast an automobile. 

An increasing number of the parents are American born, with 
good standards of physical hygiene. But mental hygiene, even of 
the simplest sort, is an entirely new idea to them, so that applica- 
tion of its ideas to their own attitudes and those of their children is 
a difficult matter. 

In addition, it is essential never to forget the mental and emo- 
tional background created by the presence in every home of old- 
world grandparents, aunts, or godmothers, with the consequent con- 
flict of ideals and atmosphere of confused values which is thus 
created for the children. 

We are fortunate in the amount of room allotted to us. -Con- 
sciousness of space and freedom of movement are two elements 
which our unstable group vitally need. They also need opportunity 
to withdraw from the stimulation of the group when its pressure 
becomes too great. It has been part of our problem to adopt for 
use space and equipment formerly used for other purposes. 

The school occupies rooms on the third and fourth floors of the 
larger industrial school of which we are a part. On the third floor 
are the office, two play-work rooms of 271 and 350 square feet, the 
bathroom, and two corridors. In these rooms and corridors are 
the clothing lockers, washing facilities, the luncheon outfit, closets, 
and shelves for work-play material. Here the children rest, each 
with his individual rug placed on the floor. 

On the fourth floor is a large play-work room of 700 square feet. 
One end is used as a carpenter shop, shut off when in use by a 
folding fence. The other end has a concrete floor which has a sand- 
box built directly on it, and allows sand play approximating out- 
door freedom. In this large room are the piano, playhouse, charts, 
and kiddy kars On each floor we have a Franklin stove, so that 
our children have the joy of open fires. 

Outdoor space consists of a roof of 580 square feet. Here are 
the junglegym and slide. Carts, Page board, and kiddy kars are 
used in or out as weather conditions vary. In summer flower boxes 


add the joy of growing things; in winter Christmas firs lashed 
to the fence give us green and snowy trees. 

Because our children lack space for normal play in their own 
homes, special emphasis is placed on equipment for large-muscle 
development. We encourage a maximum of this type of play in- 
doors as well as out. Even outdoor space is limited, and our chil- 
dren cannot endure with safety everyday exposure to dampness, 
wind, and cold. 

To stimulate still further this type of play, we duplicate equip- 
ment. We have four kiddy kars for our small group, three carts, 
and five large snow and sand shovels. This means that many chil- 
dren may be engaged in the same play at the same time, with fewer 
inhibitory delays in purposeful activity, and that there is supplied 
an incentive for the social cooperative play so desirable with our 
problem children. 

The children are encouraged to use all the material, except 
the tools and paint, voluntarily and without special supervision. 
Toys and work materials are kept on open shelves or closets. No 
division is made as to definite periods for work or play, nor is any 
distinction developed by us in the minds of the children as to the 
comparative value of either form of activity. 

In accepting a problem child into group environment, we create 
a new situation and make new demands of him. Five vital essen- 
tials in handling our problem have been found : happiness in the 
new situation ; emphasis only on fundamental values or habits ; an 
atmosphere of pleasant matter-of-faetness, sympathy, and under- 
standing; ample space; and sufficient equipment of the proper 

In this environment it is possible to leave children free to go 
about their business of play. It gives scope for revealing self- 
expression, requires enough adjustment to measure their growth in 
self-control, and gives us opportunity to grade demands to their 
individual needs. We use responsibility as joyous opportunity, 
giving it or withholding it according to individual capacity. 

Our program covers an eight-hour day with three main divisions 
of time. There is a morning session from 8 :30 to 12 for our pre- 
school group, an afternoon session three afternoons from 3 :30 to 5 
for the club group, and the remaining hours which are used for 
preparation, visiting, and records. The school is open five days 


a week, eleven months of the year, with vacations at Christmas and 
in the spring. 

There is no definite program for health work. All of the chil- 
dren report to child welfare clinics, where routine examinations are 
made, or are under the supervision of the school nurse. 

We are a one-session school for three reasons : (1) The majority 
of our mothers have been well trained in proper child feeding by 
the child welfare nurses. We do not wish to interfere in their 
handling of this part of the child's home training. (2) We have 
felt, so far, that the children benefit more by hours in the sun and 
fresh air and by getting to bed at an early hour than by an after- 
noon nap. We emphasize this with the mothers whose children do 
not take a nap. (3) It leaves us time and strength, for our work 
with the after-school group. We feel that this is an increasingly 
important part of the check on the value of our experiment. 

Because each of our children presents a problem in recondition- 
ing, we find it better to handle them in two groups. The division is 
made partly on the basis of age. The child who remains a second 
year automatically goes into the older group. But it is also largely 
determined by the plane on which the child seems to be functioning, 
regardless of his chronological or mental age. A child making a 
slow social adjustment may be better helped by association with 
younger children for a limited period. Just so a physically large, 
sluggish child may be helped by the stimulation of a group chrono- 
logically older. 

The two groups are often together for work-play periods, and 
for special occasions such as a birthday party or holiday celebra- 
tion. The older group assumes more responsibilities with corre- 
sponding privileges. Membership is a definite goal to be worked 
for and earned by responsible behavior. Children are often trans- 
ferred in the middle of the year, and an event is made of this 

In so far as the limitations of the group allow, free activity 
governs the program. The groups get together for washing hands, 
lunch, rest-period, and music. We feel that this is as much adjust- 
ment to a formal program as should be required from a preschool 
child. We have no definite time for toilet ; each child goes as he 


Program of Activities 

8:30-10.00 Free activity, inside or outside as interests vary. 
10:00-10:15 Music. 

10:15-10-45 Wash, lunch of milk and graham crackers. 
10 :45-i I :oo Rest period. 

11:00-12:00 Play-work period indoors or outdoors. Usually a 
short-story period for the older group. 

The After-School Club meets three afternoons a week and as 
many more times as can be managed without the members neglect- 
ing other demands. The number of members varies from ten to 
seventeen, the ages from five to eleven years, and the group includes 
both boys and girls. The program covers any free activity the child 
desires, provided it does not interfere with others. We sometimes 
get together for music or games. But a typical afternoon may find 
one reading, two playing checkers, four doing carpentry, or four 
doing stunts on the roof. The freedom of this program gives us a 
splendid opportunity to gauge the children's habitual reactions in 
natural situations and is a most important part of our check-up of 

c. Records. Record keeping is an essential part of our program. 
A daily diary record is kept whenever possible of every child. We 
try to record a picture of the child's habitual behavior reactions, 
notable exceptions, causes for these variations if found, his type of 
activities and their duration, and his mental or personal peculi- 
arities. Parallel with this we try to picture home situations, type 
of cooperation given, home reactions of the child, and any physical 
handicap which may exist. 

Our records are kept primarily for our own assistance in visual- 
izing our task and estimating the value of our experiment. If 
certain methods are found successful with several cases or results 
crystallize about certain facts, we may find them useful in a larger 

d. Typical Learning Situation. The following account of H. 
will present a typical picture of the process of learning in a case 
of bad behavior. 

H. is two years and five months at entrance His temper tan- 
trums are so severe that he physically injured himself when in a rage. 
Negativism is so great that even a pleasant suggestion that he do some- 
thing that we know he desires to do blocks all performance until he has 
had a spasm of rage, used profane language, spit, or struck. 


He is of average intelligence, physically well, eats normally, has 
a two-hour nap. 

Background. South Italian, first generation in this country. Fairly 
adequate income for parents and four children. Crowded living condi- 
tions. Mantal unhappiness with resulting overemotional home at- 
mosphere. The mother somewhat psychopathic; works outside the home 
at irregular periods. H. improves at these times; for he is in charge 
of his grandmother outside of school hours. The father is autocratic 
and jealous. The two older children have helped to spoil H. by giving 
in to his desires. 

School Situation. H. loves school and attends regularly. He is 
social, active, interested, has no fears, but is mastered by his own de- 
sires. He has tantrums over slight causes, such as being asked to put 
away the comb he has forgotten. Often we cannot find a cause. He 
does not easily tire physically, but an emotional upset leaves him pale 
and exhausted. 

School Methods. As few demands are made for social adjustment 
as common sense allows, but insistence is made on a minimum. Some 
manipulation of situations is done to avoid occasions for tantrums, also 
isolation when the emotional upset occurs, very quiet unemotional hand- 
ling at all times, and a degree of wholesome ignoring. 

Home Methods. The mother seems now more stable and quiet in 
, dealing with H., is more intelligent in recognizing the problem and her 
relation to it; ignores his tantrums and no longer gives in to him. 

Present Situation. H. has fewer tantrums at school and more often 
handles the situation by active resistance or slow acceptance. He sel- 
dom cries or kicks, and there is less exhaustion. He has changed from 
a scowling baby looking for trouble to a lovable and merry, mischievous 
little lad of three. But he has begun to stammer. We have recondi- 
tioned his attitude toward reasonable demands. He is happy, and gives 
pleasant cooperation. But we are questioning. In view of the develop- 
ment of stammering, was the temper tantrum, with its release of emotion, 
better at his age than regulated group pressure toward more stable 

e. Distinctive Feature. In considering the distinctive feature 
of our nursery school the attempt to retrain maladjusted chil- 
dren it seems better to try to evaluate it both from the stand- 
point of its limitations and its advantages. Our experiment has 
raised many questions which only the future can answer. We realize 
certain dangers: 

1. Overemphasis on a habit which would take care of itself 
with age. 

2. Overemphasis on a habit resulting in a fixation either on 
the part of the child or the parents. 


3. Impatience for seemingly tangible and permanent results by 
parents or experimenters. 

4. The chance for overstimulation by putting too many young 
children in a group with a danger of a forced adjustment to too 
many personalities. 

On the other hand, if the experiment is carefully guarded and 
results conservatively estimated, it would seem to offer oppor- 
tunities for : 

1. A better understanding of child behavior. 

2. An evaluation of the relative importance of habit-values in 
the preschool age. 

3. A recognition of the children likely to become social lia- 
bilities potential troublemakers. 

4. A record of methods used successfully with different types. 

5. A more precise understanding of the degree to which per- 
sonality can be changed in spite of home environment which can- 
not be much modified. 

12. Preschool Laboratories at the Iowa Child Welfare 
Research Station 16 

a. Purpose. It was for the purpose of the scientific study of 
the child and for a dissemination of that knowledge that the Iowa 
Child Welfare Eesearch Station, State University of Iowa, was 
established in 1917. Since its founding, the staff has been accu- 
mulating a body of knowledge in regard to child nature and child 
development that is now being made available through publica- 
tions, lectures, and university and field courses. 

One of the chief aims of the station is the training of graduate 
students. For this purpose, facilities for research are offered in 
the preschool laboratories, and opportunity for advanced study is 
given in University courses. These courses include mental and 
physical development of the child, child behavior, child manage- 
ment, household management, child study and parent education, 
the child in relation to the home, child nutrition, and the training 
of teachers for kindergartens and preschools. Emphasis is placed 
upon the study of infancy and the preschool age, since these periods 
are of such basic importance in child development. 

w This report is a slight reorganization of the material written by Dr. Bird 


Over one hundred investigations, either in major or minor 
studies in child development, are being carried out by members of 
the staff, graduate students, and investigators from other divisions 
and colleges of the University. Some of the studies have been con- 
tinued for a period of several years. These include studies in the 
mental and social development of young children, in physical and 
nutritional development, and in special projects in parent edu- 
cation. This research furnishes laboratory training for graduate 
students, the foundation for courses in child development, and the 
basis for service in parent-education work in the state. 

&. Organization. The first preschool laboratory was opened in 
1921. At present there are five preschool groups of about one hun- 
dred children. Groupings are made on the basis of maturity and 
development, and the groups are so coordinated that the children 
progress easily from one group to the next with the succeeding 
years. From the Junior Primary, which is partly under the control 
of the University Elementary School, they go into the first grade 
of the Elementary School. 

In three divisions, Group I, Group II, and the Junior Primary 
for children from two to five years of age inclusive, the children 
attend for one half day. The fourth division, the Preschool Home 
Laboratory, which opened in 1925, has been planned for children 
from eighteen months to five years of age. They attend from nine 
in the morning until three or four in the afternoon. Plans are 
being formulated for a few children to remain all night. Every- 
thing in this preschool home laboratory is designed for the benefit 
of the child. It aims to be a modern home based on the best methods 
of feeding, regular schedules for sleep and play, and training in 
mental development and behavior. This home environment under 
scientific management offers a new field of investigation in the 
needs and training of infancy and childhood, especially in the more 
complicated behavior problems. In the fifth division, which is a 
metabolism ward for infants, the children remain continuously for 
periods of from three to nine months. 

These five preschool divisions are essentially laboratories for 
scientific observation and experimentation with young children, but 
the child is safeguarded in every respect, and his best development 
is the prime consideration at all times. Children are admitted to 
the preschools on the basis of physical and mental normality and, 


to some extent, on home cooperation. No distinctions are made in 
regard to parents' occupations. 

Parents are present at the University preschools daily, bring- 
ing and calling for their children and submitting reports of home 
behavior, and for group conferences at frequent intervals. The 
teachers visit the homes and every effort is made to integrate the 
home and the school. 

In each laboratory group there is a teacher in charge and one 
or two assistant teachers who are with the children during the entire 
period of their attendance. In addition to these, there is a group 
of specialists, including nurses, nutrition workers, physicians, 
dental experts, educational specialists, and psychologists. Graduate 
research assistants, associates, and fellows in training in various 
phases of child development spend varying amounts of time in the 
laboratories. Close cooperation is maintained with other depart- 
ments of the University, including particularly the Colleges of 
Education, Dentistry, Medicine, the Psychopathic Hospital, and 
the Departments of Psychology, Sociology, Speech, and Home Eco- 
nomics. An advisory committee, consisting of staff members, the 
director of the Station as chairman, a professor of nutrition, a 
professor of home economics, an instructor in pediatrics, and a 
psychiatrist, was organized for the Home Laboratory during 1925- 
1926. The staff and advisory council devote from one and a half to 
two hours every other week to problem cases. The aim is to integrate 
as many sciences as possible from the various departments of the 
University and to study the child as a unit; that is, from many 
rather than from a few angles. 

For the child in these laboratory groups an opportunity is given 
to be placed in surroundings where everything is adapted to his 
needs and where he can follow his interests. A diversity of play 
apparatus affords ample opportunity for muscular growth and 
exercise of various kinds. Other materials offer training in the 
finer coordinations and in the development of perceptions and rela- 
tions, according to the child's interests and developments. Ma- 
terials suitable for his creative expression according to his changing 
needs are also provided. The teacher attempts to guide his life so 
that he may live happily and naturally, developing poise and happy 
emotional attitudes, building up desirable habits of self -direction, 
self-control, and respect for the rights and activities of others, and 


learning through experience. She gives the child as much oppor- 
tunity as possible for initiative, for carrying through his own pur- 
poses and for finding ways and means of meeting his own needs. 
The equipment and materials have been carefully chosen from the 
point of view of helping him to meet his needs and to express his 
creative interests. The teacher does not insist on perfection of 
product from the adult point of view, but rather guides and assists, 
since the young child derives his satisfactions more through the 
activity of accomplishing than through the end product. An 
attempt is made by the teacher in her contacts with the child to 
modify her approach in accordance with the child's understanding 
and development. 

The programs for Groups I and II and the morning program 
for the Home Laboratory are much the same and are very flexible. 
They differ only in adaptation to the developing interests and 
accomplishments of the children. There is free play with many 
materials, story telling, music, singing or rhythm games, and group 
conversation depending upon the children's ages and inclinations. 
The members of the more mature group learn to carry out activities 
of their own planning, in which the teacher acts only as a coun- 
sellor. A light mid-morning lunch is served. Noon lunch and an 
afternoon nap followed by a play period constitute the additional 
program for the Home Laboratory. The physical set-up of this 
laboratory affords opportunity for emphasis on satisfactory ad- 
justments of the child to home situations and the adaptation of 
home planning to the needs of the child. 

The program for the Junior Primary children is built upon the 
theories in kindergarten, nursery-school, and primary-school work 
here and abroad, experimental educational activities, and modified 
school instruction. Its purpose is to train the child to be, as far 
as childhood permits, a useful, happy citizen of firm character and 
good social ideals. Subjects are studied from life rather than from 
books. The children who pass through the Junior Primary room 
into the first grade do so without experiencing the difficulties of 
the definite break between home and school life. They do so with 
thej pleasure and satisfaction that come from being helped to find 
the answers to their many questions of "how" and "why" in their 
broadening world. Social contact with other children of his age 


and group activity are important parts of the child's life in the 

The preschool laboratory building that houses Group I contains 
a main group room, a small pantry for the preparation of light 
lunches, a lavatory, and three small rooms for examining lab ora- 
tories and individual testing and measuring. The group room is 
very light and sunny, with twelve windows on three sides. The 
heating system was devised especially for young children. In addi- 
tion to the usual radiators, set out of reach, steam pipes are placed 
under the floor so that the children can safely play there in the 
coldest weather. This room is equipped for play needs and in- 
cludes a variety of materials for occupational projects and appa- 
ratus for physical exercise. Outside there is a large grassy play- 
yard surrounded by a picket fence with trees and shrubbery. The 
equipment of the yard for play activities includes a small lake for 
warmer weather play in water, and garden tools for digging and 
planting. For days when the grass is wet there is a large wooden 
platform on which the apparatus may be placed. 

The rooms of Group II of the Preschool Laboratory and the 
Junior Primary, including four supplementary examining rooms, 
cloak rooms and lockers, lavatories, and service room, form the 
northeast wing on the ground floor in the new University Ele- 
mentary School. They have been planned on the same lines as the 
original Preschool Laboratory, now used for Group I, but for 
slightly older children; they have modern decoration and equip- 
ment, including special gymnasium apparatus. 

The Preschool Home Laboratory is an old, well-built home 
that has been remodeled and furnished from the standpoint of 
harmony and beauty as well as of utility. The big playroom and 
the dining room are large, light, and homelike. Another unheated 
playroom opens on to the yard; it has a sand-box, work-benches, 
and the kiddy kars and wagons that the children take outdoors. 
There is a large sleeping porch for the afternoon naps. The 
pebbled play-yard has playground equipment and animal pens; 
the grassy yard has vegetable and flower beds. Every feature of 
this laboratory is planned to avoid substituting the institutional 
and school atmosphere for the home atmosphere. 

The metabolism ward and nutrition laboratory are located in 
the Children's Hospital. Here the work is primarily with infants 


who are under constant observation for a twenty-four-hour period 
for several months. In cooperation with the College of Medicine 
this division in nutrition is developing practical methods of stimu- 
lating growth and preventing malnutrition during the preschool 

c. Typical Learning Situation. The following account will be 
illustrative of learning in a typical situation : 

Child D had been dawdling over her food. From November 10 
to January 3 she had spent on an average 49 minutes eating her lunch, 
though other children finished easily in half an hour. On some days 
her time ran up to 69 minutes; her lowest record was 37 minutes. A 
group of the worst dawdlers, including D, was taken into a separate 
room for the lunch period and the method of urging the children to eat 
was abandoned. Here a detached, indifferent attitude toward the eating 
of the food, but a pleasant friendly manner in general, was maintained 
by the person in charge For three days, the children were allowed to 
take all the time they wished, with no comments ; then for fifteen school 
days they were allowed 35 minutes, and, if not through, the food was 
removed without comment, except on the first day, when a warning was 
given. D. was absent the first two days of the preliminary period, but 
spent 68 minutes on the third day. During the fifteen-day experiment 
D. finished in 35 minutes or less on 9 days She had been successful 60 
percent of the days m finishing within the time allowed. Putting her 
on her own responsibility rather than allowing her to rely on adult at- 
tention thus resulted in her finishing the meal within a reasonable amount 
of time, with less emotional strain and fatigue for child and adult. 

d. Records. Detailed record blanks of the various phases of 
the child's development are kept in each of the laboratories. In 
the Preschool Home Laboratory special emphasis is placed on be- 
havior and control habits. Therefore many records are kept : the 
initial parent interview, summary sheets of behavior problems de- 
termined through parent interviews and through behavior at school, 
initial record of toilet habits in the home, daily home records, 
supplementary home records to cover longer periods of time, daily 
school records of sleep and toilet habits, periodical records of 
control, habits connected with arrival and departure, dressing and 
undressing, toilet, resting and sleeping, eating and drinking, and 
daily staff notes. In addition to these, daily records of attendance 
and of health conditions are kept in each laboratory group. An 
information blank giving the present status and interests of the 
child and a brief developmental history is filled out by the parent 


at the time that application is made for enrollment. Monthly 
summaries of physical measurements and of the daily health exam- 
inations which are made by a trained nurse who is a member of the 
laboratory staff: are furnished the teacher by the specialists in 
charge. Periodical summaries of medical and dental examinations 
are also furnished. On mental development the teacher has access 
at any time to any experimental data concerning her group of 
children. She is given periodically a summary of the psychological 
examinations for each child. These include such abilities as the 
perception of form, size, shape and color, motor control, learning, 
intelligence, language, vocabulary, apperception, memory, classi- 
fication of objects, concepts of number, time, weight, emotional 
and personality development, social attitudes, and speech develop- 
ment. She makes analyses of the educational needs of the child 
from time to time, recording the habits which need modification, 
and the recommendation for preschool and home cooperation. 
Special records are kept whenever an intensive study into any one 
phase of development is undertaken. 

e. Distinctive Feature. The Iowa Child "Welfare Eesearch Sta- 
tion serves as the coordinating center for all the work in child de- 
velopment and in child study and parent education that is being 
carried on by the three state educational institutions and various 
public school systems in the state and is cooperating directly with 
various state organizations interested in child life. 

13. Smith College Cooperative Nursery School 17 

a. Purpose. The Smith College Cooperative Nursery School 
(formerly the Northampton Cooperative Nursery School) was or- 
ganized in 1926 by the Institute for the Coordination of Women's 
Interests at Smith College, as its first demonstration. 

The purpose of this experiment was first, to find out whether 
a nursery school as a cooperative project can be carried on by a 
group of parents sufficiently interested in such a school to under- 
take the effort and responsibility required, and to continue it for 
a period of years. Second, to provide simple forms of organization, 
costs, and methods which an average group of mothers with pro- 

17 This report was written by Dorothea Beach, Principal, Smith College 
Cooperative Nursery School. 


f essional or individual interests might use in whole or in part for a 
similar project of their own. 

These purposes define also the limitations of the project. The 
school was projected as an educationally-sound nursery school, but 
not as a center for educational research and not as an institution 
for teacher-training, although students electing the course on * * The 
Pre-School Child" in the -College Department of Education ob- 
serve in the school. 

5. Basic Educational Principles. The general purpose of any 
true nursery school may be simply stated as achievement for the 
preschool child of right mental and physical development and guid- 
ance into good habits. The first is very largely the result of the 
second. It is further insured by leading the parents, particularly 
the mother, to understand the specific needs of her own child ; and 
to understand, through her own participation in the work of the 
school, the school's methods of meeting them. 

c. Organization. The staff includes a director, who is Chairman 
of the Department of Education, a principal, assistant principal, 
head teacher, teacher, and the principal of Smith College Day 

Through the Department of Music, special opportunity for 
rhythmic expression is given the children once or twice a week. The 
college physician acts as a general health consultant. The chil- 
dren's posture pictures are taken twice a year by the Department 
of Physical Education. Occasionally, parents have consulted the 
psychiatric consultant of Smith College, when he came for his reg- 
ular visit. It is evident that a nursery school with limited funds 
is unable to develop this side of the work to any extent unless it is 
in a community where such service is without charge. 

In the Demonstration House of the Institute for the Coordina- 
tion of Women's Interests certain quarters were allotted to the use 
of the school, for which rent was paid to the college by the Parent's 
Organization. The house itself is a large, three-story, many- 
windowed, white, wooden structure, facing north and abutting at 
the south on one of the college hockey fields. A well-fenced, though 
small, sunny yard gives good outdoor space, and a gate in the 
back fence enables the children to play in the hockey field when it 
is not in use by the college girls. 


The double-parlor plan of the house on the ground floor is dupli- 
cated by the two rooms directly above. These four rooms are used 
as schoolrooms. The rooms are on the west side of the house, and 
the south room on each floor opens directly on a large square porch. 
Thus the two double playrooms are encircled by all-day sun, except 
on the east. The room on the east side of the house is used by the 
school as an office. The front hall is sufficiently roomy on each floor 
to permit individual pigeonholes or lockers. There is a large, well- 
equipped kitchen directly adjoining on the southeast corner. 
Lastly, the lavatory on the ground floor has low and small-sized 
equipment for both closet and lavatory. 

This stationary equipment and the general furnishing of the 
rooms were provided by the College in contribution to the Institute. 
The school itself has provided all hangings, cupboards, lockers, and 
all movable equipment, including children's furniture and china, 
actually required for the use of the children. 

The effort was made to buy the best types of equipment possible 
for the smallest amount of money, keeping always in mind the limi- 
tations of a self-supporting, cooperative project. Authorities are 
not yet agreed as to the most suitable educational equipment for the 
nursery school, but we are experimenting and shall add our experi- 
ence to that of other schools. Outdoors there are a teeter, slide, 
swings, trapeze, rope to climb, sand-box, digging hole, piano box, 
some packing-boxes and boards. Snow shovels and sleds are added 
during the winter and, in the spring, carts, velocipedes, a doll car- 
riage, kiddie kars, and garden tools. The indoor equipment in- 
cludes blocks of various sizes, color cubes, scissors, paste, crayons, 
water-color paints, beads, peg-boards, clay, dolls and dolls' beds, 
a small wash-tub, wash-board and clothes-reel, work-bench with 
carpentry equipment, hammer and so forth, small brooms, dust pans 
and dusters, books, balls, some gold-fish, and a canary bird. 
Throughout the house an effort has been made to create a thoroughly 
homelike atmosphere. 

The children begin to arrive at 8:30 A.M. Before removing 
their wraps, they go to the office where the nurse looks down their 
throats and gives them a general examination. If a throat is too 
red or a nose runs, the child is sent home with the parent, who has 
waited until after this inspection. After removing wraps they hang 
them up, each in his own pigeonhole, being as self-reliant as pos- 


sible in the process. Then a drink of water awaits each child just 
inside the playroom door. After that is finished, the child settles 
down to some occupation or play if a floor play, on his own little 
washable rug which he spreads for himself. He is observed and 
supervised when necessary, but the plan is to leave the children 
as free as possible that they may develop initiative, self-reliance, 
imagination, concentration, and cooperation. 

About ten o'clock the toys are picked up and the children gather 
for group activities which include singing around the piano or 
sitting on rugs for 'news' or some rhythm work or games. After 
fifteen "minutes of this, the children sit at their little tables for 
their mid-morning lunch which consists of milk and graham 
crackers. Then five or ten minutes of relaxation lying on their 
rugs on the floor follows before it is time to put on wraps and go 

The children play in the yard or take a walk until about noon. 
Then those who stay all day come into the house to wash, and rest 
on their cots upstairs before dinner, while those who go home at 
noon are called for by their parents. 

Between 12:00 and 12:30 the all-day children sit down to 
dinner. Food is brought on individual plates to a serving table 
in the playroom. One child from each table is allowed to serve 
the others at his table, carrying plates on small trays. Each child, 
as he finishes his dinner, carries his empty plate on a tray to the 
kitchen and returns with his dessert. He is permitted to pour 
his own serving of milk. 

Shortly after lunch they are on their cots ready for naps, having 
had on their soft slippers from the resting time before dinner. 
After sleeping for an hour and a half, they dress and go outdoors 
until they are called for not later than 4 :30 P.M. 

This regime is not as stereotyped as it would seem in print, for 
our plans depend entirely on the weather. We keep the children 
outdoors as much as possible, and fit the indoor regime around the 
outdoor time. 

In enlisting the child's cooperation, the following general 
methods have been most successful: (1) emphasis on success either 
in accomplishment or in physical or emotional self-control, (2) con- 
trol of the situation to assure success, (3) creation of opportunities 
for exercise of these aspects of behavior which need development, 


(4) changes in unfavorable child groups by a redistribution which 
apparently is incidental to activities, (5) quiet insistence upon the 
fulfillment of a necessary condition before passing to a new in- 
terest, and (6) the use of music to catch and redirect attention or 
to transform restless noise into rhythmic and pleasurable activity. 

The children all come from the same type of home. Half of 
them are children of college teachers and half of townspeople in 
the same general cultural and economic group. All have superior 
intelligence. Throughout our contacts with the children, efforts 
are made to analyze the home situation for possible causes of be- 
havior difficulties. The cooperation of parents is enlisted. The 
assisting mother in the school is a great help in interpreting to the 
home what the school is trying to do. 

General physical examinations are made by the individual 
family physicians. Advisability of consulting specialists about diffi- 
culties with eyes, ears, etc., is discussed with parents, but responsi- 
bility is left with them. 

The entrance requirements are: 

1. Age two years to five years 

2. Normal physical and mental development. 

3. Toilet habits established. 

4. Ability of parents to cooperate in the group and contribute their 

share of interest, assistance, and financial support. 18 

The number of children enrolled is twenty-two. Half of them 
attend the school during the morning only from. 8 :30 to 12 o'clock 
noon. The other half spend the day and are called for between 
3:00 and 4:30 P.M. 

Eleven children per teacher is the maximum, but an assisting 
mother is on hand regularly except at dinner and nap time, and 
most of the time there are observing students who assist as needed. 
There are always three, sometimes four, adults to care for not 
more than twenty-two children. 

In 1926-27, the two- and three-year-old group was kept quite 
separate from the four- and five-year-old group. This year we 
tried the experiment of not holding purposely to this division, but 
it has been interesting to note that in general the older children 
have gravitated to the second-floor playroom where the older oecu- 

18 A few nursery-school scholarships are available when there is a real 
need of financial assistance. 


pations are in progress and the younger ones have stayed down- 
stairs. The group classification is based on maturity and ability. 

The nursery school is financed by the cooperation of the 
Parents' Organization and Smith -College through its Department 
of Education. 

d. Typical Learning Situation. This story illustrates typical 
learning by group control : 

John came down the yard crying. Paul and George met him. 

Paul "What's the matter, Johnnie?" 

John "Carl hurt my finger !" 

Paul and George marched over to Carl. 

George "Did you hurt John's finger?" 

Carl "No, Cynthia did." 

Cynthia "No, I didn't." 

Carl "But, I didn't mean to." 

George and Paul "All right." 

They came back to John, saying: "He didn't mean to." 

John stopped crying. Later, Carl came to John and said he was sorry. 

e. Records. Records, in so far as they are helpful at the pres- 
ent time or would become suggestive in the future dealing with the 
child, are important. These should include records of attendance 
and reasons for absence, height-weight charts of some simple sort, 
physical history, posture pictures, mental and emotional develop- 
ment, character traits, and social adaptations. We have found such 
records useful in conferences with parents. In addition to these, a 
very brief record is kept of the conclusions about the child which 
have been reached in staff conferences, together with recommenda- 
tions to be made to the parents. Our staff is too limited for much 
record making, and we are not quite sure how much of it is of vital 
importance to a nursery school not established primarily for re- 
search purposes. 

/. Distinctive Features. The most distinctive features of our 
school seem to be : 

1. Its cooperative organization. 

2. The assisting mothers (the assisting mother's role as exer- 
cised in the Cambridge Nursery School was our starting point) . 

3. The simple, happy, homelike atmosphere of the school. 

The nature of this school enlists the parent's interest and en- 
thusiastic cooperation. Through these channels large opportunities 


for parental education are given the teachers. Our experiences lead 
us to believe firmly in the idea of the assisting mother and the co- 
operative school. 

14. The Walden Nursery School 19 

a. Purpose. The idea that the first five years of a child's life 
are most significant, most plastic, and therefore most creative edu- 
cationally, is the cornerstone of the philosophy of the "Walden 
SflhooL Thus, fourteen years ago when nursery-school ventures 
were still for the most part practical devices for saving tired, work- 
ing mothers, the fundamental keynote of the philosophical and psy- 
chological structure of the Walden School was struck. This was 
done by developing a spontaneous community environment for 
children from two to four, planned on the basis of their needs. The 
specific curricular problems in the school change from year to year 
as the children gain in experiences. The basic ideas, however, are 
the same throughout the school. This makes the nursery a unified, 
integral part of this free school whose setting evolves around the 
life of the child. 

We have attempted to find a tool which would help to measure 
the delicate inner life of children. We wanted to gauge how best 
to meet the deep-felt needs of every individual, so to harness the 
instinctive drive of the little child as to lead to completion and 
security. A psychology which seemed to us to go beyond the dis- 
coveries of the sensory psychology and give a deeper motivating 
drive was analytic psychology. This study of the unconscious 
seemed to give a more satisfying answer to many problems of child 
development. The fact that all maladjustments in later life could 
be traced back to the influence of the first five years seemed to us 
to corroborate the observation of the simple primitive life of young 
children at play made by people interested in a new and genuine 
child study. Observation showed a much deeper, more complex, 
and more significant psychology in young nursery-aged children 
than educators had supposed. 

Because of the plasticity of the young child, it seems to us, we 
have at the nursery age the most productive period educationally, 

M This report, except for minor revisions, was written by Elizabeth Gold- 
smith, Co-Director and Psychologist, in collaboration with Alvie Nitscheke, 
Director, of the Walden Nursery School. 


and the most responsible. There are many problems still unsolved ; 
we can only feel our way, making honest observations and setting 
the stage with what we feel are the instinctive needs of children. 

6. Basic Educational Principles. Those of us having the oppor- 
tunity of watching natural, spontaneous toddlers grow in the 
modern nursery-school environment realize that this is the only age 
in which anything can really be taught. It is the period in which 
habit-formation can genuinely be effected. It is the only age in 
which negative influences, such as fears or over-compensations i!br 
fears, can be definitely staved off. It is the only age in which the 
child's organism can be reached directly without having to react 
indirectly to the structure already deeply affected. After this age 
we can, it seems to us, only create an atmosphere to which a child 
reacts in a more or less positive way. Hence, in the nursery school 
everything that is done, or not done, has vital significance. 

One of the most far-reaching objectives of our nursery school is 
to afford a habit clinic both for parents and children. It is un- 
doubtedly the most fruitful period to influence parents towards an 
objective understanding of their children. It is also the time to 
help them towards a consecutive educational procedure and psycho- 
logical understanding of a particular child, which will help him 
to reach his highest potential fulfillment. 

In the all-day situation a child is helped to overcome faulty 
habits of eating and sleeping. Through the objective environment 
of the school the overemotional power reactions he so frequently 
has in relation to these routine habits at home are eliminated. He 
gains a sense of responsibility towards himself and towards the 
community of which he is a member. 

We feel that development is ordinarily onesided. Even nursery 
schools and most homes push the factual acquisitive side of the 
child and try to erase too quickly or completely many instinctive 
reactions which seem to us to be rich and varied. The civilizing 
process, for instance, in the form of the social objective, can, it 
seems to us, be pushed too early. Often a child is pressed into a 
social mould when his instinctive development is still in a highly 
individualistic phase. Every time the child is interfered with, 
when some work or some mode of conduct is imposed upon him 
when he might have chosen for himself, he will be less fit to learn 
by experience. Every time he is externally controlled when he 


might control himself, he will be less fit to exercise self-control. 
To be master of himself, even in the case of the very little child, in 
the selection of work or the mode of behavior must bring with it 
joy and lasting satisfaction. In the relationship between teacher 
and child, therefore, we try to make an informal, happy contact 
in which the teacher definitely avoids an overemotional attitude or 
an overpositive or dynamically influential one. It is our attempt 
to approach each individual child in such a differentiated way as to 
compensate for difficulties at home. 

Psychoanalysis has deeply affected our handling of sex prob- 
lems. We emphasize in our frequent conferences with parents the 
need of answering questions of little children about birth and their 
bodily structures, this to be done in a natural, simple way at the 
level of the understanding of the child. 

We feel that much can be learned as to the inner life of chil- 
dren from their primitive play, interpretation of pictures and 
imaginative stories. Much of their subjective life is expressed in 
symbolic actions. Therefore, much of the interpretation of the 
understanding of their conflicts depends on the understanding of 
these factors rather than on verbal articulation. In general, after 
fourteen years, we feel that we are just commencing to grow into 
a definite form, which, although still uncrystallized, marks our edu- 
cational and psychological approach towards young children. 

c. Organization. We have tried at school to create an environ- 
ment which is homelike, not institutional. We try not to have the 
routine so pronounced that the creaking of the machinery is heard. 

The mastery of his body is probably the most important factor 
in the child's gradual adjustment. For this reason and for a feel- 
ing of independence generally, the environment is equipped with 
many kinds of apparatus leading to muscular control. The whole 
environment is a child's world with child-size equipment. 

The youngest nursery group consists this year of sixteen chil- 
dren ranging from two years and eight months to four years. We 
ordinarily have three groups before our first primary-age level : a 
group of children from two to three approximately, three to four, 
and four to five. 

In order to effect habit formation at all, the nursery is planned 
for all day. This is in accordance with the rest of the school, 
although for children up to seven years it is not compulsory. At 


present, just half of the children in the first nursery group stay 
for lunch and the afternoon session up to four-thirty. The rest 
of the children leave at noon. In the case of groups ranging up to 
five years of age, approximately two-thirds of the children stay 
for the all-day plan. 

Each one of the nursery groups has a director and an assistant 
who take over the direction of the activities for the day. They 
work in cooperation with the psychologist and the school physician 
in relation to emotional adjustment problems and the physical 
health of the children. 

The school has taken over four typical city buildings which have 
been chiefly decorated by the older children and which resemble 
home situations much more than the typical school environment. 
The two nursery groups are on one floor, each having two rooms. 
Both lead on to the large roof playground, equipped only for chil- 
dren of this age. We use the simplest kind of equipment, carried 
out chiefly by our own school carpenter, and created by people 
working with children and understanding their needs. 

The two rooms for each of the nursery groups can be opened 
to jnake one larger room if so desired. One of these rooms is used 
chiefly for quiet work, such as painting, modeling, stringing beads, 
playing house, etc. The other is used for more lively play, such as 
ball playing, riding kiddy kars, playing zoo or taking trips on boat 
or auto. In this latter room we also have a work-bench, equipped 
with light hammers and little saws specially chosen, a vise, nails, 
and a box of wood. 

The roof is equipped with apparatus particularly suited for 
developing the larger muscles. Here we have swings of various 
kinds, including a tire swing and a rope ladder. The slide is 
always popular ; by the end of the year each child is able to come 
down in at least three different ways. The sand-box is in one 
corner of the roof and is equipped with non-rust able toys. We use 
kitchen utensils, as children seem to prefer them to toy dishes. 
Much dramatic play is carried on in the sand-box. 

Our materials generally are of a twofold nature. Some afford 
opportunities for bodily experimentation and control. Others, of 
a creative nature, are stimulating to expressiveness, to finer mus- 
cular control, to experimenting with mediums leading to newer and 
richer experiences. All of the equipment is within reach of the 


child, and organized to leave the teacher as much as possible in 
the background. The daily routines are thought of in terms of 
self -activity on the part of the child. Wire baskets with different 
colored worsteds are furnished so that the young child can identify 
his own place to put rubbers, coats, etc. We have found that this 
method of putting away clothes is simpler than the usual hook to 
hang clothes on. Simply constructed racks have been built for 
towel and washcloth with a little design which represents to the 
individual child his own place. 

The program of the day is based solely on health routine. All 
other activities are entirely within the choice of the children. Thus, 
the first hour of school is spent indoors, the rest of the morning and 
afternoon outdoors if the weather permits. Children walk freely 
in and out from the roof playground to the rooms, getting new 
materials to play with. Lunch and rest time are organized so that 
the children will have plenty of time to accomplish as much as 
possible by themselves without hurry and anxiety. They have 
their lunch on their own floor so that their world is complete within 
the few rooms allotted to them. We have worked out a device for 
cots in their own playroom. These are attached to the wall and 
covered during the play time by colorful screens painted by the 
older children. 

An attempt is made to have a representative group. Our chil- 
dren come from different kinds of homes workers' homes on the 
east side, professional people's homes, and the elaborate homes of 
the very wealthy in a large city. Hence, our problems in habit- 
formation vary extremely. They range from children who have 
been left to themselves entirely without any attempt at setting an 
environment for the needs of children of this age to children who 
have been so supervised and guarded that their innate curiosity and 
activity have been stifled. 

As is true of all nursery schools to-day, there is a large waiting 
list. Younger sisters and brothers of children already in the school 
are given precedence for the nursery. There are no entrance re- 
quirements, except the usual ones of having parents visit the school, 
understand its general philosophy, and 'show their willingness to 

d. Records. We probably do less formal classifying of the 
children than do most of the nursery schools. We have health 


records and physical charts similar to those used in other nursery 
schools, tabulating daily physical adjustments of the children. Our 
great interest, however, is in keeping consecutive records of the 
emotional adjustments of children. Starting with infantile history 
and the attitude of the parents towards the children, we keep these 
records consecutively through their first adjustments in the school. 
The records are written very much in the spirit of analytic psy- 
chology or in the general attitude of mental hygiene, rather than on 
the basis of activities. 

e. Distinctive Feature. We feel that the most distinctive fea- 
tures of the Walden School Nursery are : first, that it is an integral 
part of the whole school philosophy and organization ; second, that 
we are doing research along the line of a special school of psychology 
and writing records of the emotional development of children; 
third, that we try to interfere as little as possible with natural in- 
stinctive development; fourth, that we keep the environment as 
uninstitutional and informal as possible; fifth, that we keep the 
natural creative impulse of the child alive and do not encourage too 
much emphasis on external achievement. 


A study of these descriptions of nursery schools in action re- 
veals many facts of significance and brings important questions 
to mind. What has been gained through these ventures in nursery- 
school education ? 

1. Purposes 

Inasmuch as the schools were selected according to the varied 
types of work they represented, one might expect comparisons to 
show more differences in procedures than similarities. 

Although many differences are noted, one general point of agree- 
ment is evident: namely, that practically every school, either by 
direct statement or implication, shows that its chief concern is to 
secure for preschool children the best possible conditions for meet- 
ing the needs of growth. From this fact we may infer the need of 
nursery schools of different types, if the children of all classes living 
under different conditions are to achieve their best growth. 

It is obvious that schools stressing parental education must draw 
their instructors from centers where students in parental educa- 
tion and child guidance are securing the necessary training. 


It is obvious also that schools stressing teacher training, view- 
ing the nursery school as the first step in organized education, must 
equip their teachers with methods of work that will meet the chang- 
ing values in education. Teacher guidance, formulated on the "basis 
of direct observation of the behavior of nursery-school children and 
on an analysis and evaluation of the techniques used to change be- 
havior, approaches the scientific method and leads to an apprecia- 
tion and recognition of the laboratory and research type of pre- 
school institution to which problems may be referred for more 
detailed study. 

The contributions from the public and some of the philanthropic 
nursery schools show best what is actually being done as an out- 
comet of all efforts to discover and bring about the most desirable 
learnings for preschool children. The selection of the environment, 
the size of the groups, the social organization, the teaching tech- 
niques, the flexibility and content of the day's activities, the pro- 
gram of work with parents, the types of records, and the use made of 
them, and many minor aspects of procedure in many of these schools 
have been directly influenced by the work done in the laboratory and 
experimental schools. On the other hand, in some of the public 
and philanthropic schools the purposes which have been set up can 
never be realized until vsome of the procedures are changed and 
brought into accord with established facts about the needs of 

Some of the questions raised by these articles lead to the con- 
clusion that each school might well be better informed concerning 
the plans and purposes of all the others for the special reason, if 
no other, of making needed changes in its own procedure. Are 
the research centers spending time on the most important problems 
to be solved ? Are other schools formulating their problems and re- 
ferring them to these laboratory centers for the needed help ? Cer- 
tain schools should be highly commended for their attack on such 
vital problems as lie in the fields of nutrition, hygiene, and emo- 
tional adjustments. 

2. Philosophy 

The accord in educational principles presented in these articles 
is remarkable. Nothing of the sort could have occurred a few 
years ago. As a group, nursery-school educationists have become 


articulate. Sound educational doctrine as applied to the very 
young child is accepted. There seems to be particular agreement 
on such points as learning by doing, freedom of children to choose 
activities, the use of satisfaction and dissatisfaction as a means to 
learning, and the functions of the teacher as a guide in activities. 

One school states that "the education of children of nursery 
age means guidance into good habits." This is true and unques- 
tionably stresses a most significant aspect, but it also raises a ques- 
tion : should there not be some warning against the danger of too 
great emphasis on routine habit-building? Some schools seem to 
be developing a mechanistic point of view in their philosophy of 
nursery education. 

The question of habit-formation deserves critical study before it 
can be decided what habits and what degree of perfection should 
be expected! or taught to a child of eighteen months, two years, or 
three years. May standards not be skewed when one aims at per- 
fection? One school holds a constructive questioning attitude 
toward the advisability of building certain controls with certain 
children. Another school presents a point of view that is almost 
an extreme reaction against too much emphasis on routine habit- 
formation. The solution of this problem must be based upon the 
educational principles which have been so uniformly set up by 
these schools. 

Practice and principles should show agreement. It is important 
to note how far this common accord in principles is carried over 
into practice. From such items as number of children in the 
group, number of teachers, quality of teaching, stability of the 
teaching body, the conception of a learning situation, social organi- 
zation and programs, the amount of agreement may be determined. 
Thus, if a school says that it is most important to give children 
opportunities for choice and self -initiated activities in an environ- 
ment which they are, to some extent, able to control and yet a 
scrutiny of the program shows about twenty minutes of undictated 
play in a learning situation which stresses the technique of order- 
liness with little opportunity for initiative, it is apparent to the 
most casual reader that practice does not agree with principle in 
this school. 

Evidently, in the present stage of nursery education, accord in 
educational principle does not mean standardized practice. This 


is probably a good thing, as it tends to retard the taking over of a 
"system" of early childhood education until such time as there 
shall be no break between principle and practice. In the mean- 
time the discovery of the present short-comings should be thought- 
provoking. If those engaged in practice with children could be 
reminded sufficiently often of the relation of the principles which 
underlie practice, there might evolve methods which would be a 
living, breathing embodiment of the accepted theory. 

3. Programs 

The programs vary from the formality characteristic of the con- 
servative kindergarten and primary school to extreme flexibility 
and freedom. In one school emphasis is placed on adherence to a 
program arranged in units as short as five minutes. Practice may 
not, however, be as stereotyped as it looks in print. One report 
makes this qualification by adding, "Our plans depend entirely 
upon the weather. We keep the children outdoors as much as pos- 
sible and fit the indoor regime around the outdoor time." The out- 
door program is .generally stressed by all. In meeting the needs of 
children physically less mature, and consequently more dependent 
than any other school group, nursery-school teachers have set a 
standard that is to be commended. 

4. Organization and Staff 

A significant fact revealed by this series of papers is that most 
nursery-school centers are conducted in close affiliation with a larger 
educational body. This lifts from the nursery school such a tre- 
mendous financial burden that the question arises whether the 
nursery school as an independent educational unit will ever be 
practicable or profitable. How many and which, of the services 
carried on by the parent body are essential to the nursery school? 

It seems to be conceded that mental and physical health must be 
the business of the nursery school to an extent demanded of no pre- 
vious educational venture. These are basic the very raison 
d'etre of the nursery school. The problem then arises: can a 
nursery school, not connected with a research center, have a staff 
of specialists sufficient to carry out an adequate program in mental 
and physical health ? Manifestly, the scientific procedure found in 
the large research centers cannot be duplicated except at great 


expense. Some of the articles furnish, excellent descriptions of the 
methods "by which such a cooperative service may be carried on. 
Can it, however, be exercised except in nursery schools which serve 
a restricted economic group ? Will it be found, as in clinical service, 
that the middle class is left untouched ? 

The schools that have added a nursery group to their upper 
classes indicate that there is a middle course. The nursery school 
shares with the school, as a whole, its health program including 
nutrition and provisions for dealing with behavior problems, and 
has, for these services, no special staff of its own. Even in such 
cases, the nursery school will cost more per capita than any other 
department, but the cost may not be prohibitive. It is significant 
to note that the public-school experiment in nursery-school educa- 
tion has been carried forward with no compromise in standards 
a contrast to the entrance of the kindergarten into public-school 
organization. 20 

We cannot equalize the cost of this department with that of 
others, but can we justify it? Is the prekindergarten age so basic 
in laying the foundation of early mental and physical health as to 
justify the expense? 

5. Age-Range and Group Classification 

Children are grouped in rather wide age-groups ; the narrowest 
range is 12, the widest 42 months. The largest number of children 
in one group is 30, the smallest 15. 

It is impossible to judge the number of children per teacher. 
Many schools use student assistants, in which case the number 
shifts. Obviously, the age of the children must determine the 
number under the care of one teacher. Of the schools that specify 
the number, one gives three, one seven or eight, and one twelve to 

The question of numbers, together with all other conditioning 
factors that enter in, might well receive critical attention in all 
nursery schools. 

6. Length of Session 

The length of session varies. Two schools offer a choice to the 
parent; one school allows its plant to be used for afternoon play 

1 See Chapter IX. 


and provides, at those hours, some supervision. The three schools 
that have their affiliation with child welfare organizations extend 
their hours at both ends of the day to accord with day-nursery 
practice and with the needs of the out-family mothers. The public- 
school nursery conforms to public-school hours for children in 
session all day. By and large, the tendency seems to be for an all- 
day session. One reason for this is, without doubt, the recognition 
given to the educational importance of establishing right habits of 
eating and sleeping. 

7. General School Environment 

In insistence upon a satisfactory environment the schools are 
in complete accord. It is apparent that all are real places for 
living, with adequate space and suitable equipment for play out- 
doors and indoors, and for eating, sleeping, and use of toilet. Bight 
health habits can be learned only if there is provision for practice 
This is in striking contrast to much of the work in the elementary 
schools where the effort is made to teach health habits chiefly by 
talking about them. 

Emphasis is given in some reports to simple equipment made 
by local carpenters. This seems desirable, especially from an ex- 
perimental point of view. Commercial equipment is often ex- 
pensive, stereotyped, and not adjusted to individual needs. 

There seems to be adequate provision for materials for creative 
and aesthetic experiences as well as for motor development, although 
there seems to be wide variation in the importance attached to 
some of these materials. 

Most of the schools emphasize experimental creative, rather than 
didactic or self-corrective, materials for little children. Some of 
the schools have a combination of the two The Montessori ma- 
terials which are didactic are used as the main materials in Montes- 
sori Schools, but as supplementary materials in some of the others. 

8: Parental Education 

The admirable work done in parental education deserves spe- 
cial mention. Each school, according to its purpose, has a somewhat 
different problem in this field. Through the influence of the 
nursery school parental responsibility has been increased rather 


than lessened. One school has accomplished the almost impossible, 
for it has unquestionably reached, and is functioning with, the 
working mothers. 

9. Records 

Records vary with the purposes of the school. 

Should there not be more thought and effort given to devising 
and providing adequate mechanical helps for record keeping? 
Some experimental work is being done along these lines. Teachers 
should be trained to use discrimination in what they record, to 
interpret data, and to present only the essentials for the guidance 
of parent and teacher. Some of the research laboratories have the 
needed facilities for record keeping, but it offers a genuine prob- 
lem in the average nursery school. 

10. Special Contributions of Nursery Schools to 
Educational Thinking 

In the expression of their purposes, in their plans of organiza- 
tion, and in their estimates of their own distinctive features the 
schools in general show soundness of purpose, execution, and 
achievement that have set new standards in educational values for 
preschool children. 

Possibly the most outstanding practice of all these schools is 
their contact with parents their realization that the education of 
the child is a twenty-f our-hour-a-day problem, dependent upon the 
closest cooperation of all who contribute to any part of the child's 
social environment. 

In sharing the responsibility of providing for needs of growth 
throughout so many of the child's waking and sleeping hours, the 
nursery school from force of circumstance has directed attention 
to all aspects of growth. In consequence, there is a balance in the 
planned environmental experiences never before achieved in school 
regime. Many of the learning situations provide for physical wel- 
fare, emotional life, and personality adjustments. As parents and 
teachers of the young child seek to discover causes of learning and 
to set the right conditions for its progress, is there not justification 
for believing that teacher-parent guidance will achieve results 
reaching far beyond the preschool years ? 


11. Conclusion 21 

The educational ladder of the American public-school system 
is a tall one and a stout one, but it does not reach, the ground. At 
least, it does not have a solid footing. In towns of 2500 or more, 
one out of four of the children between 4 and 5 years attends kin- 
dergarten. Only a small proportion of infants have the safeguards 
of continuous, periodic medical supervision, either by family or 
health-center physicians. A very small number attend nurseries 
with educational and hygienic advantages. Parents continue to 
exercise their natural prerogatives in the complicated task of rear- 
ing children, but without systematic preparation and guidance. 

The significance of the nursery school lies in the fact that it 
represents a deliberate attempt to furnish a more solid support for 
the educational ladder. These schools are still too few in number 
and too varied in kind for one to predict the course of the movement. 
But they are multiplying, and they carry both challenge and 

Clustered about the base of the ladder now are four types of 
child-welfare agencies: the infant health station, the nursery 
school, the kindergarten, and the home. All of these agencies are 
concerned with maintaining the health and development of the pre- 
school child. The hygiene of the preschool child is a natural unit 
in the field of social endeavor. Only when these varied agencies 
are brought into many-sided coordination will the ladder of child- 
hood have a firm foundation. 


The list of equipment that follows represents an arrangement 
showing all items that appeared on any list reported in response to 
a description of plan of organization "as reflected in equipment." 
These have been alphabetically arranged and classified according 
to use, as outdoor equipment, indoor equipment, luncheon equip- 
ment, sleeping equipment, or bathroom equipment. A book list is 
added. Items designated by asterisks are those listed by five or 
more schools. 

* Adapted from Arnold Gesell: "The significance of the nursery school,*' 
Childhood Education, September, 1924, "by permission of the author. 


1. Outdoor Equipment 

Automobiles Play house 

Auto tire swings Pushmobile 

Balance rods Rabbit pen 

Bars Rope ladders 

Bicycles *Sandbox sand 

Blocks *See-saws 
Boards (inclined boards) Skooter 

Boxes, portable Sleds 

Carts *Shdes, large and small 

Climbing horses Snow shovels 

Coasters, wagons Steps and platform 

Dump carts Steps and runway 

Garden tools *Swmgs 

Houses for animals Toys (non-rustable for sand) 

Jumping ropes Trapeze 

Junglegym Velocipedes 

Kegs Walking beam 

^Packing boxes Wheelbarrow 

Page board (for walking) Wooden engines 

*Peddle kiddie kars Wooden ladders 

Piano boxes 

2. Indoor Equipment 
Animals, toy, Brass polish 

Riding bears *Brooms 
Stuffed Brushes 

*Balls, rubber Butter molds 

Baskets for carrying toys Cabinet for Montessori 

Bells material 

*Blackboard and chalk Celluloid toys 

Blocks *Chairs for doll corner 
Cubes and cylinders Chairs, rocking 

"Hill" *Chairs for children 
Large building Chest for blocks 

Large hollow *Clay 

^Miscellaneous Cloth (colored cheesecloth) 

Mosaics and Pyramids *Clothes lines and pins 

Nests of *Colored beads 
"Trace" Colored cubes 

Bowls for bulbs *Crayons 

Bowls for washing tables *Cupboards 

Boxes for planting vegetables Dolls 

and flowers Bisque 

* Items listed "by five or moie schools. 



*Doll beds 
*Doll carriages 
Doll clothes 
Doll covers 
*Doll dishes 
*Doll dresses 

Dust pans 
Fire engines 
Glitter wax 
Iron sink 
*Ironing board 
Kitchen utensils 

*Montesson material 

Page board 

Poster colors 
Water color 
Paint brushes 
Paint cups 


Unprinted news 


*Peg boards and pegs 
Canary in cage 

*Goldfish m bowl 
Guinea pig in pen 
Turtle in bowl 
White mice in cage 




Pocket books 

Pounding boards 


Reins for horses 

Sand table 
*Shelves (open) 

Soap bubble pipes 



*Tea table 


"Tootsie" toys 


Toys on wheels 


"Twistum" toys 



Ultra- Violet Ray machine 
*Wash tubs 
*Water toys 

Wooden skewers 

Wooden toy animals 
*Workbench and tools 

3. Luncheon Equipment 
(Items suggested by one nursery school) 
Baskets Dessert dishes Salad forks 

Bibs Drop leaf tables Sherbet cups 

Bowls Doilies Tables 

Chairs Pitchers Teaspoons 

Containers for silver Plates 


* Items listed by five or more schools. 


4. Sleeping Room Equipment 
(Items suggested by one nursery school) 

Blankets, cotton Rugs 

Blankets, wool Screens 

Blankets, wool, for bed-pads Sheeting 

Chairs Sheets 

5. Bathroom Equipment 
(Items suggested by one nursery school) 

Baby's bathtub Lavatories 

Basins Mirror 

Bath mat Mops 

Bath towels Pails for mops 

Chairs Screen 

Chambers Soap containers 

Clothes hamper Toilets 

Drying rack Tooth brushes 

Foot stools Wash cloths 

Hand towels Waste basket 

6. Book List 

(List suggested by one nursery school) 
Anderson, Anne, Mother Goose 
Gabriel, Samuel, Linnette Picture Book Series 

( i ) Four-Footed Animals 

( 2 ) Little Black Sambo 

( 3 ) The Airplane Book 

( 4 ) The Automobile Book 

( 5 ) The Boat Book 

( 6 ) The Circus Book 

( 7 ) The Little Red Hen 

( 8 ) The Railway Book 

( 9 ) The Three Little Kittens 

(10) The Three Bears 

(n) The Three Pigs 
Milne, A. A. When We Were Very Young 

Winnie, the Pooh 

Smith, Jessie Wilcox, Mother Goose 
Wright, Blanche FisheY, Mother Goose 


Below are listed some of the nursery schools in the United States 
with the address of each and the information as to length of session. 
*H* (half-day) indicates a morning session of about three hours without 



the noon meal and afternoon nap; *W (whole-day) indicates a morning 
and afternoon session including the noon meal and afternoon nap. 

This list is not inclusive of all groups of children of preschool age. 
Day nurseries and mothers' cooperative play groups where there is no 
trained nursery-school teacher in charge have been omitted. Since the 
list was completed September i, 1928, new ventures and schools not well 
known at that time could not be included. 

Half or 
State C^ty Name of School Whole Day 

California Berkeley Children's Community H 

University of California Institute 

of Child Welfare W 

Hollywood The Progressive School of Los 

Angeles* H 

Los Angeles University of California, Southern 

Branch H 

Normandie Nursery School 

Public Schools W 

Mills College Mills College H 

Oakland Oakland Public School and Univer- 
sity of California W 

San Francisco The Golden Gate Kindergarten 

Association W 

Pacific Heights Nursery School. . . . W 

Connecticut New Haven The Cannon Nursery School W 

District of Yale Psycho-Clinic, Tale University H 

Columbia Washington Washington Child Research Center W 

Georgia Athena University of Georgia W 

Illinois Chicago Chicago University Nursery School W 

Franklin Public School Nursery . . W 
Mary Crane Nursery School of 

Hull House W 

Evanston National Kindergarten and Ele- 
mentary College W 

Highland Park Open Air Nursery School W 

Winnetka Winnetka Public School Nursery. . W 

Indiana Indianapolis Claire Ann Shover Nursery School, 

Butler University W 

Lafayette Purdue University, Home Eco- 
nomics Department H 

Iowa Ames Iowa State College of Agriculture 

and Mechanic Arts, Home Eco- 
nomics Division W 

Cedar Falls State Teachers College W 

Iowa City University of Iowa, Child Welfare 

Research Station W 

Kansas Manhattan Kansas State Agricultural College, 

Home Economies Departmentt . . W 
Louisiana New Orleans New Orleans Nursery School H 

* Beginning September, 1928, a limited number of children will remain 
until 3 p.m. 

t The group of 4 to 5-year-olds stay only until 1:00 pan. 



Half or 
State City Name of School Whole Day 

Maryland Baltimore Johns Hopkins University . W 

Roland Park Country Day School. HWJ 
Chevy Chase Chevy Chase Country Day School. . H 

Massachusetts Boston Associate Nursery School (Winsor 

Nursery School) H 

Nursery Training School of Boston "W 
Play School for Habit Training, 
North Bennet Street Industrial 

School H 

Cambridge Cambridge Nursery School 

(2 schools) H 

Northampton Smith College Cooperative Nursery 

School "W 

Wellesley Anne L. Page Memorial Nursery 

School (summer) H 

Wellesley Nursery School on Wel- 
lesley Campus H 

Michigan Ann Arbor University of Michigan, Depart- 
ment of Education W 

Battle Creek Altrusa Nursery School W 

Detroit Detroit Teachers College 

Children's Clinic H 

Merrill-Palmer School W 

Neighborhood House of Detroit 

Industrial School Association . . . W 
Grand Rapids Giand Rapids Public Nursery 


1. Harrison Park Jr. Kindergaiten H 

2. Kensington Nursery School..,. H 

3. Blodgett Home for Children . . H 
Highland Park Highland Park Public Nursery 

School W 

Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Private Nursery School H 

Ypsilanti Michigan State Normal School 

(Summer Nursery School) W 

Minnesota Minneapolis Institute of Child Welfare, 

University of Minnesota W 

The Morning Nursery School H 

Missouri Columbia Stephens College H 

Kansas City Sunset Hill School H 

Nebraska Lincoln University of Nebraska, Home 

Management Department H 

New Hampshire Peterborough Peterborough Preschool Children's 

Center H 

New York Binghamton Nursery School and Kindergarten, . H 

Croton Greenery Nursery School of the 

Child Education Foundation 

(summer) W 

Ithaca Cornell University, College of 

Home Economics W 

Mt. Vernon Mt. Vernon Play School H 

New York The Bethlehem Nursery School W 

Bureau of Educational Experi- 
ments W 

t Either half or whole day session. 



Half or 
State City Name of School Whole Day 

Bowling Green Nursery School, 
Bowling Green Neighborhood 

House W 

Child Welfare Research Institute, 
Teachers College, Columbia Uni- 
versity (2 schools) W 

Gi eenwich House W 

Judson Health Center W 

Noyes School of Rhythm H 

Walden Nursery School H 

Poughkeepsie Mildred Wimpf heimer Nursery 

School, Department of Euthenica 

Vassar College W 

Rochester Rochester Children's Nursery W 

Syracuse University TTill School H 

Ohio Cincinnati University of Cincinnati H 

Cleveland Cleveland Day Nursery and Free 

Kindergarten Association 

Gowan Nursery School} W 

Samantha Hanna Nursery . . . W 
Kiwanis Nursery School of Rain- 
bow Hospital W 

Columbus Merryheart Nursery School H** 

Ohio State University, Department 

of Home Economics W 

Toledo The Smead Nursery School H 

Yellow Springs Antioch College W 

Oklahoma Stillwater Oklahoma Agricultural and Me- 

chanical College, School of Home 

Economics H 

Oregon Corvallis Oregon Agricultural College, Home 

Economics School W 

Pennsylvania Flourtown Carson College H 

Loch Haven Loch Haven Normal School, Pre- 
school Psycho-Clinic H 

Philadelphia Neighborhood Center W 

Tennessee Nashville George Peabody College (Summer 

Quarter) H 

Texas Austin University of Texas W 

Wisconsin Milwaukee Milwaukee Normal School W 


Those who wish to read more concerning the underlying philosophies 
of nursery schools as well as descriptions of methods and procedures 
will find valuable material in the following references : 

$ These nursery schools are affiliated with the Department of Nursery, 
Kindergarten, and Primary Education, Cleveland School of Education, Western 
Reseive University. 

**A special group stays until 3:30 pm 


I. General Discussions of Nursery-School Education 

Baldwin, Bird T., and Stecher, Lorle I. The Psychology of the Preschool 
Child. New York: Appleton, 1924, pp. 15-16. 

de Lima, Agnes. Our Enemy the Child. New York : The New Repub- 
lic, 1925, pp. 52-69. 

Forest, Use. Preschool Education. New York: Macmillan, 1927, pp. 
266-309, 332-370. 

Owen, Grace. Nursery School Education. New York: Button, 1923. 
176 pp. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Parents on Probation. New York: The New 
Republic, 1927, pp. 269-271. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Concerning Parents. New York : The New Re- 
public, 1926, pp. 16-17. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Intelligent Parenthood. Chicago : University of 
Chicago Press, 1926, pp. 85-97, I 33- I 35- 

Van Waters, Miriam. Modern Parenthood. Los Angeles: Southern 
California Society for Mental Hygiene, 1926, pp. 82-88. 

Periodical Literature 

Abbott, Julia Wade. "The kindergarten and the nursery-school move- 
ment." Mother and Child, 4: 1923, 51-56. 

B rugger, M. Elizabeth. "The nursery school as a coordinator of edu- 
cational interests." Progressive Education, 4: 1927, 205-206. 
Dunn, Mary J. "The public health nurse in the nursery school." The 

Public Health Nurse, 20: 1928, 279-282. 
Foster, Orlme. "The nursery school as a child builder." Mother and 

Child, 4: 1923, 3-8. 
Gans, Bird Stem. "Significance of the nursery school idea for the day 

nursery." Mother and Child, 4: 1923, 56-63. 
Gesell, Arnold "The changing status of the preschool child" Pro- 

gressive Education, 2: 1925, 8-10. 
Gesell, Arnold. "The nursery-school movement and home economics." 

Journal of Home Economics, 17 : 1925, 369-371. 
Gesell, Arnold. "The nursery-school movement." School and Society, 

20: 1924, 644-652. 
Gesell, Arnold. "The significance of the nursery school." Childhood 

Education, i: 1924, 11-20. 
Henton, Emma. "The nursery-school movement in England and 

America." Childhood Education, i : 1925, 413-417. 
Hill, Patty Smith. "Preschool education as a career." Journal of the 

National Education Association, 16: 1927, 209-210. 
Johnson, Harriet M. "Educational implications of the nursery school." 

Progressive Education, 2: 1925, 29-33. 
Johnson, Harriet M. "The education of the nursery school child." 

Childhood Education, 3: 1926, 135-141. 


Meek, Lois Hayden. "Education of preschool children." The Public 
Health Nurse, 20: 1928, 268-271. 

Rand, Winifred. "The nursery school learning- through living-." The 
Public Health Nurse, 19 : 1927, 264-267. 

Rand, Winifred. "Parenthood and the nursery school." Child Study, 
5: March, 1928, n. 

Raymond, E. Mae. "The nursery school as an integral part of educa- 
tion." Teach. Col. Record, 27: 1926, 782-791. 

Woolley, Helen Thompson. "The real function of the nursery school." 
Child Study, 3 : 1926, pp. 5-6. 

2. Discussions with Reference to Specific Nursery Schools 

Baldwin, Bird T. and Stecher, Lorle I. The Psychology of the Preschool 

Child. New York: Appleton, 1924. 305 pp. 
Cleveland, Elizabeth. Training the Toddler. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 

1925. I72pp. 

Gesell, Arnold. The Preschool Child. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1923, 

pp. 38-56. 
Johnson, Harriet M. Children in the Nursery School. New York: 

John Day, 1928. 325 pp. 
McMillan, Margaret. The Nursery School. New York : Dutton, 1919. 

356" pp. 
Stevinson, E. The Open-Air Nursery School. New York: Dutton, 

1923. 79 PP. 
Stevinson, E. Concerning Parents. New York: The New Republic, 

1926. pp. 49-70- 

Stevinson, E. Intelligent Parenthood. Chicago : University of Chicago 

Press, 1926, pp. I35-I5- 
Stevinson, E. Modern Parenthood. L/os Angeles : Southern California 

Society for Mental Hygiene, 1926, pp. 82-88. 

Johnson, Harriet M. A Nursery-School Experiment. New York: 

Bureau of Educational Experiments, 1924. 85 pp. 
Mudgett, Mildred Dennett. European Schools for Preschool Children. 

Washington, D. C. : American Association of University Women, 

1927. 25 pp. 

National Committee on Nursery Schools. Conference on Nursery* 
Schools. Washington, D. C. : American Association of University 
Women, 1927. 25 pp. 

Nursery Training School of Boston. Boston, 1927. 23 pp. 

Institute for the Coordination of Women's Interests. The Nursery 
School as a Social Experiment. Northampton, Mass. : Smith Col- 
lege, 1928. 38 pp. 

Institute for the Coordination of Women's Interests. The Cooperative 
Nursery School. Northampton, Mass. : Smith College, 1928. 74 pp. 




The problem of preschool and parental education cannot be 
discussed without reckoning 1 very fully with the kindergarten. To 
be sure, it is possible to consider the issues chiefly in terms of the 
nursery school, but it would be unwise to ignore either the historic 
or the potential position of the kindergarten in the whole situation. 


1. Froebel's Contribution 

It is interesting and certainly most significant that Froebel's 
original idea was to train mothers to teach their own young children 
in the home rather than to organize schools and systems of teaching 
outside of the home. 

2. Philanthropic Support 

When the kindergarten was introduced into America, it per- 
sisted as a philanthropy long before it was accepted as an organic 
part of the educational system. During this period it was eagerly 
sought by missions, churches, and philanthropic organizations as 
the most hopeful form of social regeneration. We as a nation were 
gradually awakening to the new social problems due to enormous 
increases in foreign population. Our slums were in the process of 
formation. These became sources of disease, crime, delinquency, 
and industrial disorders, breeding centers of problems which we 
were nationally unprepared to meet. 

The kindergarten appeared on the horizon at the right moment. 
Society turned to the young child as the one great hope, and 
kindergartens opened under religious and philanthropic influences 
all over America. These were often located in the worst slums of 
our cities, and were conducted by the finest type of America's 
young women who had prepared themselves in philanthropically 
supported normal schools. The period of training in these early 



days was short and otherwise inadequate, but these young women 
entered upon the work with rare enthusiasm and consecration to 
the cause, receiving small salaries or none at all. 

3. Social Welfare Program 

Both kindergartners and heads of philanthropies soon saw the 
need of the ministrations of the physician, the nurse, the social 
worker, or the visiting teacher. But there was no money to pay 
for all this ; so the kindergartener taught in the morning and spent 
her afternoons as a social welfare worker, seeking work for the 
unemployed, space in hospitals for ill mothers, searching for volun- 
teer physicians to remove adenoids and tonsils or dentists to extract 

The kindergarten teacher, by her friendliness and many mani- 
festations of practical help not only for the children but for the 
fathers and mothers as well, gradually gained the confidence of the 
entire family and in time she was able to persuade the mothers, and 
sometimes the fathers, to come to the kindergarten for informal 
gatherings. The emphasis in these meetings was at first on getting 
acquainted and having a good time, but little by little the kinder- 
gartner was able through individual conversations and simple group 
discussion and demonstrations to teach these parents concrete facts 
about proper food for little children and how it should be cooked, 
the need for frequent bathing and care of the children's bodies 
simple clean clothing, fresh air, and proper ventilation. This was 
the contribution of the pioneer kindergartner. 

4. Entrance into the Public Schools 

Philanthropy turned to the public schools asking them to in- 
clude the kindergarten as a part of their organization. The opening 
wedge was made by gaming permission to use vacant rooms in 
public schools. The salaries of teachers and other running expenses 
were still defrayed by philanthropic agencies that were convinced 
of the educational as well as the philanthropic value of the kin- 
dergarten. The next step was to persuade boards of education to 
accept full responsibility. Thus in time the kindergarten became 
a part of many school systems. 


5. Adjustment to Public-School Conditions 

With this advent into the public-school system the kindergarten 
was confronted with a new problem it must carry out its own aims 
and purposes and at the same time adjust itself to existing con- 
ditions. For many years it was a misfit; a great gap existed 
between the kindergarten and the remainder of the school. This 
was due in part to the fact that the kindergarten teacher was given 
a different type of training. 'Her philosophical background, her 
curriculum, materials, and methods, were too novel to be under- 
stood by teachers who had been trained to use a curriculum based 
upon the acquirement of the three R's. In the effort to bridge 
this gap many Hndergartners laid undue emphasis on the formal 
preparation of the children for the first grade. The number of 
kindergartens in existence was quite inadequate to meet the public- 
school requirement of accepting all children who applied for ad- 
mission. Consequently the classes were much too large and it 
became impossible to give children the amount of individual atten- 
tion which they had received under earlier conditions. Another un- 
fortunate result of this early public-school experience was that there 
was little or no opportunity to carry out the welfare work which 
was so significant a phase of the earlier movement. 

The establishment of the kindergarten as a part of the public- 
school system in the United States has been gradual. Certain sec- 
tions of the country have accepted this form of education for little 
children enthusiastically, while in other parts of the country 
progress has been slow. 


Up to this time the kindergarten had made slight modification 
in its philosophy, subject matter, or materials, but when in the 
period from 1890 to 1900 a great interest in child study and child 
psychology swept over the country, a few of the leaders in the 
kindergarten movement had the courage to break with traditional 
practice and seek scientific help from such men as Colonel Parker, 
Dr. G-. Stanley Hall, and Dr. John Dewey, who were the leaders in 
this movement for more scientific study of children and who were 
testing their theories in experimental schools. 


1. Continuity in School Education 

Colonel Parker, then principal of Cook County Normal School, 
one of the earliest students of Froebel and the kindergarten, ac- 
cepted many of Froebel J s principles but rejected much of kinder- 
garten practice which was to his critical mind a gross violation of 
Froebel's theories of ereativeness and freedom. These principles 
Colonel Parker had accepted as the basis for his reconstruction of 
primary education, introducing drawing, painting, modeling, sing- 
ing, dancing, and other activities as " modes of expression." As 
he utilized these in his methods of teaching in the lower grades, he 
was impressed with the formalism that still remained in the kinder- 
garten as compared with the freedom and self-expression in his 
reconstructed school , consequently, he gave his loyal support and 
encouragement to any bold spirits in the kindergarten who had the 
courage to break with traditional practice and to apply FroebePs 
principles in better forms Colonel Parker was one of the pioneers 
in freeing both the kindergarten and the elementary school from 
their enslaving influences on both children and teacher, and in so 
doing he was the first to unify the kindergarten and primary grade 
in one continuous educative process. 

2. Health of Children 

The new child study movement emphasized the differences be- 
tween adults and children in thought, feeling, and conduct. Per- 
haps the most significant contribution of Dr. G. Stanley Hall in the 
child-study movement was in the field of health. He criticized the 
kindergarten for keeping children so much within doors, for bring- 
ing so many children together under conditions which multiplied 
the dangers of contagion, for encouraging children to handle the 
small materials which were then in use, and for requiring them to 
sit so long with so little real activity. In those early days Dr. 
Hall's vision of a "Paradise of Health" where children spent much 
time in active play outdoors, where materials for their use were 
large enough to prevent strain, and where the laws of hygiene were 
consciously and conscientiously observed was laughed at by many 
as asking for the impossible. But to-day we see the results of his 
teaching in numerous beautiful and sanitary school buildings and 
playgrounds, in the many children's clinics which are carrying out 
constructive and preventive health programs. 


3. Curriculum and Method 

Other great changes in kindergarten practice must be traced to 
the influence of Dr. John Dewey who came into the kindergartens 
to study practice and help in reconstruction. Dr, Dewey helped to 
reconstruct a new order out of the old with infinite patience in 
the study of details of the practice to be substituted. His pragmatic 
philosophy, embodying the best in the psychology and sociology of 
the day, called for a careful study of the child and a patient over- 
hauling of every detail in curriculum and method. His emphasis 
upon interest in relation to effort, morality as involving choice, the 
principles of democracy in school organization, thinking as con- 
ditioned in problematic situations, when applied in kindergarten 
education necessarily led to a new curriculum and new methods of 
teaching and social organization. In many instances the kinder- 
garten preceded the grades in its reconstruction of practice in the 
light of Dr. Dewey 's principles. The so-called 'project method/ 
with its emphasis upon the child's right to plan for himself, as well 
as to execute the plans of the teacher, and upon the ability and the 
right of children to learn from and help each other, has given us 
the socialized school of to-day. No one has contributed such an 
impetus to the reconstruction of kindergarten practice as has Dr. 
Dewey, not only through his theories of life and education as a 
part of life, but also through his interest in, and cooperation with, 
those seriously attempting its reconstruction. 

1. Two Points of View 

In the light of this new psychology and of the child-study move- 
ment many kindergartens modified their practice, and courses in 
child study and hygiene were introduced into the training schools 
the emphasis being laid on child development rather than on the 
development of subject matter as had formerly been the case. 
However, there were some within the kindergarten group who re- 
jected the newer theories and practices and continued to use the 
unmodified Froebelian materials and methods. Thus, there de- 
veloped two points of view in the kindergarten world to a degree 
they still exist those who continued to conduct the kindergarten 


along Froebelian lines and those who modified theory and practice 
in the light of scientific discoveries in education. 1 

2. Emphasis on Child Needs 

With this latter group the social organization of the kinder- 
garten gradually became more informal, the program more flexible ; 
discussion and informally organized play began to take the place 
of the " morning circle' 7 and formal games, new materials, chosen 
to meet the needs of children more fully and healthfully, sup- 
planted the Froebelian gifts and occupations ; while new emphasis 
was placed on the child's physical and mental health. These 
changes came slowly ; many mistakes were made, but gradually the 
adoption of a theory and practice embodying the more scientific 
views in education has produced the modern progressive kinder- 

In the effort to develop in the kindergartens a more informal 
and natural organization experiments were carried on in various 
parts of the country. 

3. Freedom for Activity 

About 1912 the writings of Dr. Montessori were translated into 
English; the work she was doing with little children in Italy be- 
came widely advertised, and her influence was distinctly felt by 
the kindergarten in America. While we may criticize her faulty 
psychology and her choice and use of materials, her^ * ' Doctrine of 
Freedom " unquestionably gave further impetus to the experiments 
in freer social organization already under way here. To-day in a 
modern progressive kindergarten children have every opportunity 
for physical development; provision is made for a hygienic en- 
vironment with plenty of space, sunshine, and air; they are free 
to move about and use materials which encourage many types of 
activity ; and the provision made for intellectual growth takes due 
consideration of individual differences. 

4. Social Organization 

In the modern progressive kindergarten an effort is made to 
give the children a well-balanced emotional life. As far as possible, 

1 The willingness with which kindergarten leaders have laid their work 
upon the table for examination and have altered it continually in the light of 
modern developments of psychology has been one of the outstanding character- 
istics of the movement. 


children are allowed and encouraged to carry out their own aims 
and purposes. However, wherever a number of persons live to- 
gether there must be some form of organization which will help 
individuals to adjust to each other for the good of the whole. As 
far as possible, this organization should be carried on by the chil- 
dren themselves, but situations will arise which will need group 
consideration and cannot be left to any one individual child. As 
far as the children themselves can settle their group questions, the 
responsibility should be left to them ; but where the problem is too 
complex and difficult, the teacher must be ready to assist in its 
adjustment. Her place should be that of one of the members of 
the group. 

"For the child of this age moral training is largely social adapta- 
tion. The teacher should be conscious of the opportunities for such 
training and of the necessity for the formation of habits and atti- 
tudes such as obedience, consideration for others, respect and 
reverence." 2 


In the modern kindergarten there is no generally accepted pro- 
gram for the day's activities. The following description, however, 
will give a picture of one kindergarten which is typical of many 
in the United States. 

i. Arrival at Kindergarten 

The activities of the day start with the arrival of the first child. 
There is no time wasted waiting for all to gather for a formal opening, 
but there is the more informal and natural individual greeting between 
the children and the teacher. With this morning greeting the teacher 
has the opportunity to talk to each child about anything that may be of 
personal interest and at the same time to see that he is in good physical 
condition before he comes in contact with the other children. If she 
detects signs of a cold or other physical difficulty, the child is sent to 
the school doctor, who examines him and if necessary sends him home 
with proper instructions for further treatment. When the child returns 
to school after an illness, he is readmitted only after the school doctor 
has seen him and pronounced him in condition to be with other children. 
This early detection of sickness (including colds) and immediate exclu- 
sion from the group does much to prevent epidemics. 

a Hill, Patty Smith. A Conduct Curriculum for the Kindergarten and First 
Grade. New York: Scribner's, 1923, p 10. 


Small individual lockers are provided for each child, m which he 
keeps his own paintbox, crayons, smock, shoes, unfinished work, or any 
of the little belongings which he so enjoys bringing to school. 

After the children have said "good morning," they go to their lock- 
ers and put on their soft gymnasium shoes. Learning to lace and tie 
their shoes is often a big undertaking for children who have never been 
taught to do things for themselves, but before long they are taking pride 
in being able to quickly change their own shoes without help and will 
even be giving help to other children who are still struggling with the 

2. Work Period 

a. Materials. As the kindergarten is essentially a children's play- 
room and work shop, the materials are attractively placed within easy 
reach. One corner of the room may be occupied by a family of dolls, 
with the necessary furniture, dishes, carnage, and so forth. The library 
will be in another corner where the light is especially good. Here will 
be a low bookcase holding a variety of the best books for children of 
this age, with a special library table and a few attractive little willow 
or reed easy chairs. Two or three pieces of apparatus especially de- 
signed for physical exercise, such as a junglegym, a swing, and a see- 
saw, are in different parts of the room Also included in the equipment 
will be a sand box and sand toys, a carpenter's bench and tools, a box 
of large building blocks of suggestive sizes and shapes, nature material 
and other materials for scientific experimentations, and on low bulletin 
boards attractive pictures of a variety of subjects. In low cupboards 
(on shelves so spaced that things need not be piled on each other) will 
be found materials for industrial and fine arts, the smaller playthings, 
such as tiles and puzzles and housekeeping materials, a small tub and 
washboard, electric iron, and utensils for simple cooking. A small broom 
and dustpan and mop will be found hanging in an inconspicuous but 
accessible place, to be used whenever there is a need for them. 

b. Individual and Group Activities. The children are encouraged 
to think for themselves and to select the playthings and materials which 
they wish to use some of the materials have been put in the room with 
the idea of stimulating group activities, while others are provided for 
individual use and experimentation. Early in the school year the activi- 
ties tend to be more individual and the few spontaneous group activities 
that do arise are of short duration. As the year progresses and the 
children develop in ability to plan and work together, groups are more 
frequently formed and hold together for a longer period. Occasionally 
throughout the year all the children cooperate in carrying out a plan. 

c. Variety in Activities. The well-equipped room suggests a variety 
of activities to children. While some may be exercising on the appa- 
ratus, others will be at the tables painting, sewing, modeling with clay 
or perhaps drawing; someone may be painting at the easel; others will 


be building with blocks, playing with the dolls, or working at the car- 
penter bench, and still others looking at picture books at the library 
table. The amount of time that each child spends in the use of any one 
material or the amount of time in which he plays alone or in a group 
must be worked out by the child with the help of the teacher; this ad- 
justment must be individual, for no two children have the same abilities 
and needs Little by little, the responsibility of consciously working out 
their own time schedules is assumed by the children themselves. 

d. The Teacher's Part. During the work period the teacher, hav- 
ing provided suggestive material for the children's use, goes about giv- 
ing suggestions when needed, helping some child to learn to do a piece 
of work in a better way, proffering constructive criticism, and helping 
the children themselves to criticize constructively. She also suggests 
a piece of work if a child cannot think of a worthwhile activity for him- 
self, sees that each one has a variety of experiences with materials 
and does not concentrate on one material beyond the point of progession, 
so that all of the children have opportunity for use of all materials, the 
standard of work is gradually raised, and the children develop increas- 
ing knowledge and skills and better habits and attitudes. 

The children must be taught how to use materials and tools safely 
and without waste and how to put them away in an orderly manner 
when work time is over. At the end of the self -initiated work time 
(about 9:45) the signal is given for putting away all materials in their 
proper places and gathering in groups for a story. The same signal, 
whenever given, requires immediate and perfect attention on the part 
of the children, so that the teacher can get the attention of the entire 
group instantly at any time. 

3. Stories 

The story period, usually fifteen or twenty minutes, is used for tell- 
ing or reading stories, whether new or old. Children enjoy telling stones 
themselves and after a little help and encouragement will make up 
their own. 

4. Mid-morning Lunch 

After the story period the children go out to the dressing room 
where they are taught to take care of themselves on the toilet, to wash 
and dry their hands. They return to the kindergarten room where they 
set the table for luncheon. Milk and graham crackers, or orange juice, 
an apple or small sandwich, brought from home or sent up from the 
school lunch room, is the usual menu. This luncheon period is not only 
a valuable time in which to improve eating habits and attitudes and gain 
knowledge of food values, but it gives an opportunity as well for informal 
conversation in a comparatively small group. Interesting discussions 
take place about the weather, excursions, experiences that the children 
have at school or home, nature, current events, holidays, and many other 


topics. Children learn to present interesting things to be talked about 
at this time. 

5. Rest 

After luncheon the children spread their individual rugs on the floor 
and he quietly for about fifteen minutes in a darkened room. Each rug 
is marked at the top with the child's name and so folded that he can 
always know at which end to put his head. He is taught so to refold 
the rug as to keep the side he rests on folded in and away from the 
floor. Learning to rest is not easy. It takes time to learn to lie quietly 
and to relax, but the children take pride in gaming control and are 
better for the perfect quiet of these few minutes 

6. Music and Rhythm 

At the end of the rest time (about n o'clock) the rugs are put away 
and the children place their chairs in an informal group near the piano 
for music. If the group is large it may be well to place the chairs in 
rows for the greater convenience of getting in and out. About thirty 
minutes is used for singing, individually or in groups, affording an 
opportunity to develop rhythm informally from the children's own 
interpretations of the music, and for the use of the band instruments. 
Other musical experiences include listening to Victrola records, to some- 
one playing the violin, or to someone who comes to sing their favorite 
songs to them. 

As far as possible, early in the year the children should be given a 
simple music test so that the teacher will be able to know their various 
abilities and give them individual help. 

7. Outdoor Play 

The last half hour of the morning is commonly used for outdoor 
play. This play may be very active running, jumping, climbing, or 
it may be dramatic playing house, tram, boat, store. As the year 
progresses, the children may enjoy simple organized group games, such 
as ball games, spin the ring, or a dancing game in which all can partici- 
pate, such as Little Sally Waters. Short excursions to interesting places 
within the school or the immediate environment may be taken this last 
penod. Occasionally, longer trips are made to the museum, green- 
houses, 'zoo/ etc. 

The "Good-bye" is as informal as the greeting. The children are 
taught to get their own wraps and put them on, even to struggling with 
refractory buttons and trying leggings. 


There is no prescribed program in the kindergarten, but as far 
as possible the children are given information through, experiences 
and demonstrations. These experiences are supplemented and 


deepened by carefully selected pictures, models, and stories. The 
experiences most interesting and vital to little children have to do 
with social relationships of family and neighborhood and often 
reach out into the larger world of other races and peoples. The 
celebration of holidays, the weather, the typical manifestations of 
the seasons, plant, and animal life, where things come from, how 
they are made, how we travel, and how we live are among the most 
vital of the children's interests. 

In this informal organization the children are given oppor- 
tunity to plan their own work, sometimes working alone and some- 
times organizing a group to carry out some large purpose. They 
are helped to criticize and judge their own activities and to plan 
and carry on a simple social organization of their own. 

The outcomes of the children's experiences are in terms of char- 
acter development, the building of good habits and attitudes, and 
the acquiring of useful knowledge. Records of progress, in terms of 
character and social development, are kept of the individual chil- 
dren and also records of experiences, in terms of subject matter, 
for both the individual and the group. 

Children are promoted to the first grade in the most progressive 
systems on the basis of general development and social maturity 
rather than on the basis of chronological age. Social maturity im- 
plies the ability to purpose, plan, and work together in a group ; 
to take and use directions and criticisms ; and to make intellectual 


1. Reports and Records 

a. Daily Report. In order more intelligently to guide and 
direct the children in the kindergarten, it is necessary to know as 
much as possible about each one. It is helpful to have a daily 
report brought from home by each child. This report includes a 
statement of the number of hours of sleep the child has had, whether 
the sleep was sound or disturbed, food difficulties, bowel movement, 
emotional disturbances, amount of outdoor play, as well as any 
abnormal condition that might affect the child 's behavior. This 
report helps the teacher in dealing with the everyday problems that 
arise and in bringing about a closer cooperation between the school 
and the home. 


b. Health Records. Each child is given a thorough physical 
examination once a year, when the mother is invited to be present. 
Any suggestions which the doctor may have for treatment or cor- 
rection are given at this time. The mother is asked to fill out a 
form giving information about the child's past health; this form 
is filed in the doctor's office for reference. Besides this general 
examination once a year, the child's weight and height are recorded 
once a month, and a report is sent to his parents if any unusual or 
significant symptom is discovered. 

c. Developmental Records. A record of the child's develop- 
ment which can be kept by both parents and teacher and compared 
from, time to time is most helpful in bringing about in the child a 
more harmonious development. The record may include such topics 
as personal hygiene, obedience, responsibility, orderly habits, ability 
to take and use criticism, consideration for others, cooperation with 
others, leadership, ability to plan work, ability to carry work to 
end, ability to make intellectual contributions, mental alertness, 
motor control, and emotion stability. 

2 Visits, Conferences, Meetings 

Children often have a different set of habits for home than for 
school; in fact, sometimes the whole nature of the child seems to 
change from one environment to the other. A child who is happy 
and enthusiastic at home is sometimes unhappy and diffident at 
school, and a child who is obedient at school may be disobedient at 
home. In order that parents and teacher may have a common 
basis of understanding and sympathy in dealing with children, 
frequent meetings, both individual and group, are necessary. 
Parents are urged to visit the kindergarten often, so that they may 
know from personal observation what their children are doing and 
have a better understanding of the work of the kindergarten. 

Parents' meetings are held from time to time for the discussion 
of practical problems of child development ; at other times lectures 
are given by specialists on such vital subjects as proper feeding, 
habit-formation, etc. 

A visit of the teacher to the home will often throw light on 
some perplexing problem. After such a visit a shy child may often 
he helped to overcome his shyness ; or the visit may in other ways 
establish bonds between the home and the school. 



While the kindergarten for many years stood apart from other 
educational institutions and had a unique development, it has now 
become an integral part of the educational system. It was the 
recognition on the part of certain kindergarten leaders of the im- 
portance of consciously assuming responsibility for the training of 
young children, even before the kindergarten period, that led to 
one phase of the movement for the development of nursery schools 
in this country. These same leaders in education also recognized 
the importance of a continuous development beyond the kinder- 
garten and the primary grades. There is now a growing tendency 
to look upon the nursery school, kindergarten, and first school 
grades as a unit in the educational system. 3 

1. Contribution of Kindergarten Education to Nursery Schools 

In America nursery schools have largely affiliated with progres- 
sive kindergartens. The social organization of these nursery 
schools, therefore, is in keeping with the free social organization 
of progressive kindergartens where formal games and ' morning 
circles' have long been given up. They have accepted many of the 
principles of the kindergarten, but have modified its organization 
and materials for their own needs. Those few nursery schools 
which have been influenced by the conservative kindergarten have 
taken over its more formal aspects, such as the morning circle and 
organized games. 

2. Influence of the Nursery School 

On the other hand, the nursery-school movement is influencing 
kindergarten theory and practice especially in the direction of more 
scientific study of the nature of the child. The kindergarten 
teacher is also learning from the nursery-school teacher that, in 
order properly to guide the activities of children while they are 
under her care, she must know much more about their lives outside 

1 The figures from the Bureau of Education for 1927-28 are as follows-: 
Of the supervisors in 108 cities, 45 supervise from kindergarten through 3rd or 
4th grade and 48 supervise from kindergarten through 6th, 7th, or 8th grades. 
Of 126 teacher-training institutions giving kindergarten training, 98 have com- 
bined the training for kindergarten with the first three grades j 5 combine nurs- 
ery school, kindergarten, and primary training. 


of the school. Efforts are being made to bring about closer co- 
operation between the home and school so that each will know the 
child's whole twenty-four hour day. 

The relationship between the nursery school, kindergarten, and 
first grade is rapidly growing closer. Teachers of young children 
in many institutions are required to have training and practice in 
all three fields. As they move from one group to another, they 
recognize the contributions, requirements, and possible development 
of each level of maturity, and this interchanging helps greatly to 
bring about a closer unity. 

3. Interaction Between the Kindergarten and 
Elementary Grades 

Just as the nursery school and kindergarten interact and con- 
tribute to the educational development of each other, so do the 
kindergarten and primary grades. Teachers going on to the pri- 
mary grades have felt the need of richer and more vital subject 
matter that is more closely related to the child's life a subject 
matter which must come through experience rather than books. 
A great variety of interesting materials is finding its way into the 
school room, and a more informal and natural type of organization 
is taking the place of more formal methods. 

A modern progressive primary-grade room does not look unlike 
a kindergarten room. In it will be found movable chairs and tables, 
low cupboards, individual lockers, and the same stimulating and 
suggestive materials as are found in the kindergarten, besides others 
which are added to meet the needs of children at this level of 
development. The same informal organization is carried on, with 
the children gradually assuming more and more responsibility for 
the conduct of the room. Children are given opportunity to carry 
out their own aims and purposes and to judge their results. They 
show increasing skill in handling tools and materials and more 
independence in carrying things to a finish. As in the kinder- 
garten, the children move about freely, working individually or in 
small self -organized groups, but there are more occasions when the 
whole group cooperates in working out a common plan. The sub- 
ject matter of the first grade is related to, and grows out of, the 
activities. Children learn to write because they have a need for 
this form of expression ; they learn to count and measure because 


these skills are necessary in carrying out their purposes. An in- 
terest in reading is a natural outgrowth of their rich background of 
experiences. In fact, the beginnings of all school subjects are found 
in the activities of the kindergarten, first and second grade, and it 
is the function of the teacher to organize and direct these activities 
so that learning takes place. While acquiring information and de- 
veloping skills are not overlooked, the emphasis is on social living 
and the development of character. 

The closer interaction between the kindergarten and primary 
grades has brought to the kindergarten a consciousness of the need 
of interpreting activities in terms of progressive child development. 
The subject matter of the school is embodied in the experiences of 
the children, and it is through these experiences and the wise direc- 
tion and organization of activities that learning results and the 
child is educated. 



The kindergarten is now a recognized part of the typical public- 
school system of America. 4 It became a tax-supported feature of a 
school system in St. Louis as early as 1870. For many years, the 
kindergarten maintained a marginal position outside the public- 
school system which was very similar to that of the nursery 
school to-day. As has been stated, in its early pioneer days the 
kindergarten frequently engaged in educational activities similar 
to those of the modern nursery school. It provided for children of 
nursery-school age and developed genuine working contacts with 
their parents. Even to-day the kindergarten occupies the field of 
preschool education, if the age of six to seven is regarded as ele- 
mentary-school entrance age. 

In -California, for example, it is anticipated that the kinder- 
garten may in time become an almost universal and compulsory 
part of the public-school system, and that the nursery school may 
then be placed on a mandatory-on-petition basis. In England, the 

4 The Bureau of Education gives the following figures for 1924-26 : 91 per- 
cent of cities of 100,000 and more population, 69 percent of cities of 30,000 
to 100,000 population, 40 percent of cities of 10,000 to 30,000, and 32 percent 
of cities of 2,500 to 10,000 population maintain kindergartens. See City 
School Circular No. 3. Bureau of Education, U. S. Department of the Interior, 
Washington, D. C., March, 1928. 


nursery school is on a permissive basis, but is given official par- 
liamentary recognition in the Education Act of 1918. There the 
nursery school may be regarded in principle as part of the system of 
public education. 

The cleavage between the nursery school and the infant school 
in England has not manifested itself in the kindergarten situation 
in America. Indeed, through their official organization, the Inter- 
national Kindergarten Union, the kindergartners have expressed 
an alert, constructive attitude toward the nursery-school movement, 
and this attitude should be counted as an asset by all school ad- 
ministrators who may plan to incorporate the prekindergarten child 
into the scheme of public education. So far as the kindergarten is 
part and parcel of this scheme, it may be said that the principle of 
preschool education has already established itself in this country. 
The broad administrative problem now has to deal, not with the 
establishment of the principle so much as with its application and 

During the past ten years, moreover, enrollments in public- 
school kindergartens have rapidly increased while those in private 
kindergartens have decreased. This may be explained in part by 
the fact that many kindergartens organized and originally sup- 
ported by philanthropic institutions have been taken over by the 
public-school system Such a change from private to public control 
of kindergartens is normal, provided there is no lowering of stand- 
ards in the change. Private funds are frequently spent to show the 
need for an educational movement and to demonstrate its value. 

Philanthropic organizations were the first to champion the kin- 
dergarten, to show the educational and social need for it, as well as 
to demonstrate the possible contribution it could make to general 
education. This type of private organization substitutes for the 
public school until popular opinion permits the use of public money 
for the support of the project. The nursery school of to-day is in 
much the same sociological position as the kindergarten of two 
generations ago. 

In what direction should public educational activity in the pre- 
school field be extended? And to what degree should the kinder- 
garten itself be used as the means of accomplishing the extension ? 
And if a distinction is to be made between the kindergarten and 
nursery school, to what extent should the kindergarten have pri- 


ority of claim in the development of public tax-supported preschool 
education? These questions are not invidious if they are framed 
in order to clarify the issues. 


1. Enrollment 

A brief summary comparison of the existing provisions for 
kindergarten and nursery-school education will serve to bring into 
perspective the broader organizational aspects of a large and com- 
plicated administrative problem. In 1922 there were 8889 kinder- 
gartens with 11,842 teachers and 555,830 pupils. These figures 
were for communities with a population of over 2500. 

Most of the kindergarten enrollment for the country as a whole 
are still found in cities of 2500 population and more 584,235 chil- 
dren were reported by 853 cities in 1926. This number is approxi- 
mately 27 percent of the estimated total number of four- and five- 
year-old children reported by the Census of 1920 as living in cities. 
It is estimated that less than half 44.45 percent of these live in 
the cities. Geographical distances in rural sections of the country 
may make it difficult to provide kindergarten education for the 
other 55 percent of the young children living there. It should be 
stated, however, that the increase in the number of consolidated 
schools and the recognition of the neighborhood as the primary 
social unit in rural districts is leading to a definite increase in 
kindergarten provisions in these districts. These kindergarten 
arrangements promise to have considerable future importance in 
the development of preschool and parental education in the more 
sparsely settled communities. 

In 1927 the number of nursery schools in the country approxi- 
mated 75, with a total estimated enrollment of 1000 children. The 
total number of children enrolled in public-school kindergartens of 
the United States was 700 times greater, or 700,000. 

2. Costs 

The total cost of public kindergartens in New York State 
(in 1921) ranged from $21.00 to $113.00 per pupil. However, costs 
of kindergarten education can be segregated only for instruction, 


since all overhead expenses are generally shared with the elemen- 
tary grades of the public-school systems throughout the country. 
Instruction for a kindergarten pupil in average daily attendance 
is lower than that for elementary-grade children, owing largely to 
the fact that two groups of pupils (one in the morning and one in 
the afternoon) are often assigned to one teacher. The per capita 
cost for instruction in twenty nursery schools surveyed by the 
Bureau of Education ranged from $90 to $725 per child in average 
daily attendance, depending upon the emphasis of experimentation 
and research. These high costs are to be attributed to the fact that 
the enrollment in the nursery schools is relatively small, and that 
much of the work is at present on an experimental and research 

In discussing costs of nursery-school education two factors must 
be taken into consideration : first, the purpose for which the school 
is organized the cost of equipment and salaries for a nursery 
school in a Research Center greatly exceeds that for a school 
organized to carry a regular program; second, the numbers of 
persons profiting by the work of the nursery school among whom the 
costs could properly be distributed instead of allocating them en- 
tirely to the children enrolled such persons include the children, 
their parents, research workers, and students observing or partici- 
pating in the work as part of their training. 

3. Age Eange 

From a sampling of the ages of 4448 children attending 137 
kindergartens, the range of ages for the entire group was found to 
be two years to seven years and two months. The widest range in a 
single school was from two to six years. The smallest range in a 
single school was five years and eleven months to six years and four 
months. The median low age for the 137 schools was four years 
and seven months and the median high age for these same schools 
was six years. It is evident that the two years' range from four to 
six seems to express the average age range in most kindergartens. 
Five years is the most characteristic kindergarten age. 

The ages of children attending nursery schools range from one 
to five and a half years ; the interval of greatest frequency is three 
to three and a half years. There is a tendency to enroll children 
over three years rather than under. There is, then, a definite over- 


lap in the age ranges of children reached by both kindergarten and 
nursery school. 


It is possible to define a nursery school in such a way that it ex- 
cludes what we ordinarily mean by the term kindergarten. Like- 
wise it is possible to set up such a definition of a kindergarten (of 
the prevailing public-school type) as to exclude from it the current 
conception of a nursery school. On the other hand, it is possible to 
maintain that the kindergarten as well as the nursery school is still 
in a formative stage of development, and that their two spheres 
overlap to such a degree that certain common factors should be 

The history of the early kindergarten movement shows that in 
the pioneer days the kindergarten was less sharply delimited at 
the four- and five-year levels, but frequently made room for chil- 
dren two and three years of age. Home visiting, parental confer- 
ences, and even health work, were frequently a part of its program. 
The free kindergartens, because of their social setting, often com- 
bined day nursery and educational work. Boston, for a period, 
made home visitation a regular duty of its Mndergartners. Wash- 
ington, D. C., established a nursery type of kindergarten in a con- 
gested district which bore considerable resemblance to a present-day 
nursery school. Los Angeles, by an act of the Board of Education, 
actually took over sixteen day-nurseries and incorporated them into 
its school systems. It was argued that, without this arrangement, 
some children of school age could not attend school, but would have 
to remain at home to take care of their younger brothers and 
sisters, as their mothers were gainfully employed. The committee 
does not suggest that this is a desirable method for the extension of 
public education into prekindergarten levels. 

Only recently Detroit had to meet a similar situation. Unem- 
ployment of fathers placed a premium on employment of mothers 
to make up family income. This brought pressure on certain public 
schools to accept children of prekindergarten age who were brought 
to school by children of school age. Because this was an emergency, 
the public schools managed to make special supplementary arrange- 
ments for these preschool children. "While some cities have drawn 


the age limit of kindergarten entrance sharply at five years, others 
have lowered it to four years, 5 and still others, like the kindergarten 
of the southern branch of the University of California, have defi- 
nitely made provision for three-year-old and two-year-old children. 6 

Consolidated rural school kindergartens likewise find it natural 
to make contacts with children of prekindergarten age and with 
their parents. The community unit idea prepares the way for the 
establishment of high-schools, for intimate community participation 
in the affairs of the school, and for the development of home-making 
s education and of school contacts with parents and children of pre- 
school age. 

Whenever a school organization becomes highly socialized (in 
the neighborhood sense), it tends toward adult and continuation 
forms of education. It tends also to relax the conventional concepts 
of schoolroom, school age, and school privileges. All these social 
tendencies, reinforced by changes in home life, economic life, and 
the status of woman, give a new meaning to the related problems 
of preschool and parental education. 

The necessity of highly diversified facilities and flexible arrange- 
ments at the graduating end of the public-school system is now 
widely recognized. A similar flexibility at the receiving end of the 
public-school system will demand a readjustment and reconstruc- 
tion of the kindergarten, permitting the incorporation of certain 
types of work now represented by pioneering nursery schools. 

1. Legal Status 

From the standpoint of existing conditions, the kindergarten 
enrollment evidently far outnumbers that of the nursery school. 
Although eight out of every nine children from four to six years 
of age do not attend a kindergarten, the number of pupils enrolled 
in kindergartens is probably from 700 to 1000 times greater than 
the number enrolled in nursery schools. The legal status of the 

" In Wisconsin, Maine, Utah, and New Jersey, the four-year-old is educated 
by law; in Michigan, the three-year-old is being taken into kindergartens or 
nursery schools in both teacher-training schools and public schools. See 
Kindergarten Legislation. Bureau of Education, XT. S. Department of the In- 
tenor, Washington, D. C., 1927. Bulletin No. 7. 

* This is now called a nursery school. 


kindergarten, moreover, is relatively well established. Only four 
states have no laws permitting the establishment of kindergartens. 
All other states, by specific statutes or by fixing no minimal school- 
entrance age provide for the establishment of kindergartens. In 
seven states and several cities there is a mandatory aspect to these 
legislative provisions. The nursery school is properly still an inno- 
vation which only in a few scattered instances has become an 
integral part of a public-school system. 

2. The Kindergarten a Part of the School System 

Indications that kindergartens are steadily gaining recognition 
as part of the school system include the following: 

1. The rules and regulations of Boards of Education in many 
city school systems describe their school organization as, "kinder- 
garten, elementary, secondary, and special," and the Department 
of Superintendence states that "the elementary school comprises 
the kindergarten and grades 1-6, the kindergarten being recognized 
as the introductory section of the elementary unit." 

2. Thirty states issue kindergarten or kindergarten-primary 
certificates for teaching; others state or imply that general ele- 
mentary or special subject certificates may cover kindergarten 

3. The curricula of approximately two-thirds of the public 
and private normal schools and teachers' colleges provide prepara- 
tion for kindergarten teachers. 

3. Unification of Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary Education 
in Teacher Training 7 

The kindergarten is becoming increasingly unified with the 
primary grades, and this tendency is solidifying its position in the 
public-school system. 

This tendency is also reflected by new tendencies in the organi- 
zation of teacher training. According to reports received in the 
fall of 1927, 172 teacher-training institutions 8 provide training for 

7 The figures for this section were obtained from Davis, M. D., and Hem- 
ingway, B., "Descriptive Directory of Institutions Offering Training for 
Teachers of Nursery Schools, Kindergartens and Primary Grades.'* Bureau 
of Education. Unpublished manuscript. 

* These include teachers colleges, normal schools, and departments of edu- 
cation in universities and liberal arts colleges. 


kindergarten teachers One hundred fifty-two of these offer a 
unified course for the preparation of teachers for kindergarten- 
primary grades; six of these include the nursery school with the 
kindergarten-primary unit. 

But seven of the 172 institutions reporting offer training for 
kindergarten teachers only; 23 other institutions offer segregated 
kindergarten curricula, but they also offer either unified kinder- 
garten-primary, separate primary, or general elementary curricula. 

From reports of the length of curricula offered in the 172 
teacher-training institutions, all but 48 offer curricula requiring 
more than 2 years for completion ; 34 schools offer a maximum of 
three years, and 95 offer a B.S. or A B. degree after four years of 
study. Fourteen of these 95 institutions offer graduate work in 
the preparation of nursery school, kindergarten or primary grade 

In planning the program for the training of teachers for the 
kindergarten-primary grade unit, 130 of 140 institutions report 
that the theory and method courses are identical for students in 
this department, while 118 divide the students' time for observa- 
tion and practice teaching among the kindergarten-primary grades. 
Among 141 institutions reporting the combined kindergarten- 
primary curricula, 63 offer theoretical courses in preschool educa- 
tion, and 48 provide observation or practice teaching with children 
of prekindergarten age for the students preparing to be kinder- 
garten-primary teachers. 

Thus, segregation of the training course for kindergarten teach- 
ers is rapidly disappearing and the whole educational program for 
young children is becoming a decided unit. This is evident not 
only in the teacher-training courses and in the certification of 
teachers but likewise in the supervision provided for these grades 
in public school systems; in 75 percent of the cities reporting, 
supervision of the kindergarten and of the primary or elementary 
grades is combined. 

In the past the major administrative questions regarding the 
kindergarten concerned its adjustment to the primary school. At 
present this question has been overshadowed by the problem: 
What should the kindergarten do about younger children of nurs- 
ery-school age? Is it possible that the present-day kindergarten 
will crystalize into a primary schoolroom and that the future 


will necessitate an ironically similar readjustment between the 
kindergarten and other preschool agencies? 

4. Adjustment to Problems of Child Welfare 

The fate of the kindergarten in American education seems to 
hang upon the manner in which it will address itself to tlie larger 
problems of child welfare which concern at once questions of public 
health and of educational and social policy. "We are in the midst 
of a steady social evolution so far as the status of the preschool 
child is concerned. He will attract to himself increasingly new 
forms of educational endeavor and social control. 

Modern scientific thought and the whole trend of preventive 
medicine literally force us to take a revised conception of educa- 
tion, and particularly a revised conception of the developmental 
significance of the preschool years. In some form or other these 
years are coming under increasingly great social control. That 
much can be predicted with safety. 

But how this control will be accomplished cannot be predicted. 
That the kindergarten or its equivalent will play a considerable 
role in the associated fields of preschool and parental education can 
hardly be doubted, because the kindergarten is strategically located 
at the very growing edge of the public-school system. 

5. Strategic Position of the Kindergarten 

The strategic significance of the kindergarten as an educational 
instrument rests upon the following facts: 

1. The kindergarten has a frontier position in the educational 

2. It is naturally the recruiting and receiving division of this 
organization and therefore has many functions in the hygienic 
regulation of school entrance. 

3. The kindergarten is in a position to develop close contacts 
with homes through parent conference and home visitation, to say 
nothing of systematic parent education. 

4. The kindergarten is a most natural resource for the develop- 
ment of demonstrational and participating arrangements in the 
field of preparental education. 


5. The kindergarten has an important function in the field of 
parent guidance and individual child guidance in relation to many 
types of handicap and minor behavior defects in early childhood. 

6. The kindergarten lies in closest proximity to the public and 
quasi-public agencies which are concerned with the protection and 
supervision of the early physical development of infants and young 


1. Need for Experimental Attitude 

The problem of school administration, therefore, is not the mul- 
tiplication of nursery schools as such, nor even the multiplication 
of kindergartens as such, but the readjustment and extension of 
present educational and hygienic control of early child develop- 
ment in relation to home and parent. 

It follows that for the administrative solution of the problems 
indicated there is demanded cumulative experiments and demon- 
stration. The nursery school itself should be regarded as an ex- 
perimental means of determining methods, techniques, and eco- 
nomic possibilities. It is suggested, however, even more strongly, 
that in the meantime the kindergarten should also be deliberately 
utilized as an experimental station in a similar manner. 

The kindergarten has been singularly free from experimental 
study. School board and superintendent have been ready to sup- 
ply material equipment, but have then been inclined to grant the 
kindergarten a somewhat detached freedom. Since, however, the 
kindergarten is really the recruiting station of the elementary 
school, it ought to be the most active and fertile field of experi- 
mental education, in the administrative sense as much as in the 
pedagogical. Nearly all the prevailing kindergarten practices 
follow the same pattern with regard to age, personnel, equipment, 
and program. The kindergarten consequently is in danger of 
erystalizing into just another schoolroom, when to meet the new 
demands it should develop a versatile, multiple technique that will 
bring it into more effective contact with a wider range of childhood. 

If we go on the assumption that the kindergarten is a place for 
five-year-olds, and that they attend on a full-time basis daily, like 


any other school children, we prejudice the solution of the problem. 
If, however, we regard the kindergarten as the vestibule of the 
public-school system, as a controllable port of entry, and give it 
freedom to develop varying, multiple contacts with different age 
levels and with parents, it may be possible to overcome the insti- 
tutional delimitations toward which the kindergarten pattern is 
now tending. An experimental attitude toward the kindergarten 
seems to be an outstanding need in the present situation. 

2. Suggestions for Experimentation 

The specific directions in which progressive experimentation 
should be undertaken may be characterized as follows : 

1. Periodic -and -part-time attendance for four-, three-, and 
two-year-old children. It should not be taken for granted that full- 
time" "daily attendance on the ordinary elementary-school basis is 
the only available procedure for the organization of preschool edu- 
cation. For educational reasons, to say nothing of economy, it 
should be profitable to define graduated and differentiated attend- 
ance arrangements which may enable the kindergarten (or its 
equivalent) to make contacts with a wide range of age groups and 
establish anticipatory relations with parents of young children be- 
fore the latter reach the age of five years. 

2. Extension of parent conference and parent training pro- 
visions so that an increasing amount of educational work will be 
accomplished in the homes prior to the kindergarten and primary- 
school age. 

3. Correlation of home economic courses in child care with 
kindergarten procedures developing provisions for participation, 
demonstration, and observation. 

4. Individualized^ child guidance work for children from two 
to five years ol age who are in special need of mental hygiene meas- 
ures, and whose parents require special guidance. This work may 
be accomplished by closer association with child health agencies, 
medical school inspection, visiting teachers, etc. It is essential 
that means"shbuld be found for discovering and helping certain 
handicapped children before they reach school age. The technique 
for this work is concretely outlined by the methods of the habit 
clinic, the child guidance clinic, and the guidance type of nursety. 


5. The gradual incorporation of selected features of nursery 
school practice. 

6. The shifting of educational approach to the whole family 
rather than to the individual child, and the development of the 
community unit and neighborhood idea, both in rural and in urban 

7. A fundamental revision in the training of kindergarten and 
primary teachers which will give the ideas and methods that will 
embrace the new social implications of all work with young chil- 
dren and will incorporate some of the better features of training 
for nursery-school workers. 


There is, of course, no short-cut solution to the complicated 
problem of preschool education in its relation to parental and pre- 
parental education. The solution must be progressive and will 
naturally vary with local, social, and economic conditions. 

But the general problem is well enough defined and sufficiently 
concrete to merit the attention of administrative leaders as one of 
the most outstanding of all the present major problems of educa- 
tional policy. The problem cannot be escaped by any process of 
rigid delimitation of school functions. It is extremely improbable 
that the kindergarten will either be abandoned or confined within 
its existing limitations. 

It would be regrettable if the needs of preschool education were 
met by purely supplementary facilities or by the mere addition of 
sub-kindergarten arrangements similar to those already in ex- 
istence. It is a grave question whether we should add to our public 
school structure, after the sectional bookcase manner, simply an- 
other tier of arrangements for four-year-olds and three-year-olds 
and two-year-olds. Something radical should be done to overcome 
the present tendency toward segregational stratification. The 
whole field of preschool education in relation to home and school 
calls for a more flexible and diversified approach, such as that rep- 
resented in the best medical and public health work. 

The older concepts of school entrance, and ultimately even of 
legal school age, must give way to something less rigid. Public 
school activities must become closely articulated with other forms 
of social control which are taking shape in various fields of infant 


welfare and mental hygiene. The social demands, to say nothing 
of the social complexity of the problems of preschool and parental 
education, will increase rather than diminish with time. The in- 
tricacy of the problems places a premium on progressive experi- 
mentation. The urgency of the demands will challenge inventive, 
social imagination. The kindergarten, with the stimulus of the 
nursery-school movement, has become a natural and a promising 
experimental ground for the determination of new educational pol- 
icies under public auspices. 


For those who wish to read further regarding the kindergarten the 
following references will be helpful. 

I. The Development of Theory and Practice 

1. Hill, Patty S. "Changes in curricula and method during the past 
twenty-five years of kindergarten education." National Educa- 
tion Association, Proceedings, 1925, pp. 484-492. 

2. Hill, Patty S., and others. A Conduct Curriculum for Kinder- 
garten and First Grade. New York : Scribner^s, 1923. 123 p. 

3. Hill, Patty S. "Forty years in kindergarten." The Survey, n: 
September, 1927, pp. 506-509. 

4. Parker, S A., and Temple, Alice. Unified Kindergarten and First 
Grade Teaching. Boston: Ginn, 1925. 600 p. 

5. Pickett, Lalla H., and Boren, Duralde. Early Childhood Educa- 
tion. Yonkers : World Book Company, 1925. 216 p. 

6. Pratt, Caroline. Before Books. New York: Adelphi Company, 
1927. 347 p. 

7. Vandewalker, Nina C. The Kindergarten in American Education. 
New York: Macmillan Company, 1908. 274 p. 

II. The Present Status of Kindergarten Education* 

1. Davis, Mary Dabney. .Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary Education 
in 1924-26. Washington, D. C., 1927. U. S. Bureau of Education, 
Bulletin No 28. 

2. Davis, Mary Dabney. A Primer of Information about Kinder- 
garten Education. Washington, D. C., 1928. U. S. Bureau of 
Education, City School Leaflet No. 30. 

3. Vandewalker, Nina C. Kindergarten Legislation. Washington, 
D. C., 1925. U. S. Bureau of Education, Bulletin No. 7. 

III. Studies in Certain Administrative Aspects of the Kindergarten 
a. Relation of Kindergarten to Later Education 

9 A more comprehensive bibliography on various aspects of kindergarten- 
primary education will be found in City School Leaflet No. 28, 1927, TJ. S. 
Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C. 


1. Cotnenius, W. D , and Shank, T. "Kindergarten training and 
grade achievement." Education, 48: 1928, 410-415. 

2. Detroit, Michigan. Board of Education. The effect of kinder- 
garten attendance upon progress and quality of work in the grades. 
Detroit Educational Bulletin, Research Bulletin No. 10, Novem- 
ber, 1925. 

3. Dickey, Levi H. The Relation of a Kindergarten Experience to 
Success in Primary Grades. Master's Thesis, 1927-28. Univer- 
sity of Southern California, Los Angeles. 

4. Gamble, Leo M. Factors Conditioning Success in the Primary 
Grades Master's Thesis, 1927-28. University of Southern Cali- 
fornia, Los Angeles. 

5. Greene, H. A. "Kindergarten training as affecting later ele- 
mentary-school progress and achievement." Childhood Educa- 
tion, 3 : 1927, 402-412. 

6. MacLatchy, Josephine H. Attendance at Kindergarten and 
Progress in the Primary Grades. Columbus: Ohio State Uni- 
versity Press, 1928. 144 p. 

7. Resser, F , and Elder, H. E "The relation between kindergarten 
training and success in the elementary school." Elementary 
School Journal, 28 : 1927, 286-289. 

b. Promotion Studies. 

1. Gambrill, Bessie L. Studies in First Grade Promotion and Non- 
Promotion. Department of Education, Yale University. 

2. Read, Mary M. Investigation of First-Grade Admission and Pro- 
motion. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, 
Columbia University, 1927. 191 p. 

3. Waite, Mary G. A Study of First Grade Promotion and Non- 
Promotion. Doctor's Thesis, 1927. Yale University. 

c. Miscellaneous Studies. 

1. Ching, J. F. The Per-Pupil Cost of Certain Supply, Operation f 
and Maintenance Accounts of the Kindergarten, Elementary, 
Junior and Senior High and Evening Schools. Bureau of Cur- 
riculum Development, Research and Guidance. Oakland Public 
Schools, Oakland, California, July i, 1928. 

2. Davis, Mary Dabney. Current Practice in Kindergarten Edu- 
cation in the United States. Washington, D. C. : National Edu- 
cation Association, 1925. 155 p. 

3. Kindergarten-Primary Department. Report on Kindergarten En- 
rollments. San Francisco Public Schools, 1926. (Mimeo- 
graphed) 9 p. 

(Answers of 46 superintendents of city school systems to the 
question "How do you handle the situation in kindergartens in 
which the enrollment exceeds 50?") 

4. Rutledge, R. E. "The organization of kindergartens in large 
cities." Educational Administration and Supervision, 13: 1927, 



a. Brief Account of the Development of the Movement. Pa- 
rental education has a twofold meaning : it is a conscious effort on 
the part of parents to gain an understanding attitude toward their 
children as developing personalities ; also, it is a conscious attempt 
on the part of organizations and agencies that serve children to 
interest the parent in the newer knowledge of child life, for the 
benefit of the child in the home as well as in the school and the 

{The realization of the need for the education of parents to a 
better understanding of their children did not develop from the 
impetus given by one of these interests only, but came almost 
simultaneously from both the home and the community interests. 
Parents began to realize that /the traditional methods of rearing 
children were not proving adequate for the complicated economic 
and social conditions of to-day, thai/being a physical parent did not 
necessarily endow one with special ability or fitness to understand 
and rear children. In consequence, parents began to study the 
procedures which they were using with their children and to reach 
out to professional groups for assistance. They turned to edu- 
cators, religious workers, referees of juvenile courts, and scientists 
from every branch of knowledge for information in regard to the 
problems of child development! Thus we have parents in search 
of education. 1 

Two of the early organizations which grew out of this desire of 
parents were the Federation for Child Study, which became the 
Child Study Association of America, and the National Congress 
of Mothers, later reorganized as the National Congress of Parents 
and Teachers. 

As the professional groups in the various branches of science 
came to see the child as a unit and as a developing personality, they 

1 A complete discussion of this topic is given in Chapter IX of Dr. Miriam 
Van Waters' recent book, Parents on Probation, New Republic. 1927. 



soon realized the importance of the home as a factor in his develop- 
ment and training. They, too, saw the need JEor a. cpntinuity of 
interest in regard to the procedures of child training in the home, 
school, and community. Thus we have attempts of educational, 
civic, and religious groups, extension departments of colleges, 
public school systems, health centers and others to organize ma- 
terials, to give courses, and to provide leaders for groups of par- 
ents. There was a conscious effort to interest parents and stimu- 
late them to learn the fundamentals of child training, especially 
concerning the early years of childhood. 

It is important to note that most^pf these programs are not con- 
sidered remedial, not for underprivileged "children and parents, but 
as positive and preventive. This movement has received its sup- 
port largely from the groups of parents who already are giving 
thoughtful consideration to the training of their children, but who 
wish to do better; parents who wish to anticipate difficulties and 
who hope to profit by the experiences of others. 

It must be remembered that the parental education movement 
is not confined to work with parents of preschool children. It is 
closely allied to the preschool movement because there can be little 
improvement of preschool children without improvement of home 
conditions and parental behavior. It is true that the increased 
emphasis upon consideration of the early years of child life has 
given a great impetus to the whole field of parental education. 
However, it is important to understand that practically all of the 
agencies discussed in this chapter are developing programs for 
parents of children of all ages. 

b. The Purpose of the Survey. This survey is intended to 
give an idea of the extent of the parental education movement, to 
show the variety of organizations initiating and participating in 
programs for parent education, and to indicate sources of reliable 

c. The Selection of Programs for Discussion. Because of the 
variety of organizations that have attempted to present child-study 
programs for parents at various times and in different sections of 
the United States, it is difficult to select and classify the programs 
that may be of special value to the educational group. In order to 
gain some degree of continuity in the discussion, it is necessary to 
limit it to organizations, institutions, and agencies that give pa- 


rental education a definite place among their activities. Conse- 
quently, it is necessary to omit descriptions of those agencies that 
have a general or sporadic interest in parental education as well as 
the work of individuals which is not part of an organized program, 
regardless of its worth. A classification of the type of programs 
has been arranged with special description of experiments that 
appear significant. 

d. Explanation of Terms. There are two terms commonly used 
in the description of parental education programs that require ex- 

The term parents groups, or parents classes, leads one to infer 
that these classes are attended by both fathers and mothers. 
Though the interest of the father is solicited, his membership in a 
group is an exception. The majority of classes are composed of 
mothers only. Where there is an appreciable enrollment of fathers 
in a class, and where a definite effort is made to reach the fathers 
either as members of a class with mothers or of a separate class, 
there is a special mention of this fact in the reports, publicity, etc. 

The term child development is used throughout this chapter. 
It is a term which has developed out of the effort to emphasize the 
whole development of the child. Further interpretation of it will 
be found in Part II, Chapter I. 

I. Organizations 

There are many organizations which directly or indirectly have 
attempted to meet the interest of parents and professional groups 
in their desire for non-technical, scientific, yet easily interpreted 
material on child development. A hasty survey revealed about 
forty organizations national, federal, public, private, philan- 
thropic, and commercial that are providing material on some 
phase of this subject. 

However, few organizations have parental education as their 
chief objective or an interest in a consideration of the total aspect 
of child life. In various eases, as the names of the organizations 
suggest, it is only the physical or the mental or the social or the 
religious aspect of child development that is considered. Recent 
programs of organizations have aimed to assemble material upon 


the child as an integrated personality with the definite interests and 
needs of the parent in mind. 

The Child Study Association of America, the National Congress 
of Parents and Teachers, the American Association of University 
Women, the American Home Economics Association, and the Par- 
ents Publishing Association are organizations that have a definite 
interest in parental education and that have taken steps to meet 
the demand of the lay and professional groups. 

a. Child Study Association of America. 2 This is perhaps the 
only organization which was conceived for the sole purpose of aid- 
ing parents in the rearing of their children. Organized in 1896 
as the Society for the Study of -Child Nature, 3 the Child Study 
Association of America is now a national organization with a mem- 
bership of 4750, organized in 135 chapters in 23 states and 3 foreign 
countries. The work and development of the association is sum- 
marized as follows: 

(1) Study groups: These chapters or study groups are com- 
posed of mothers and fathers who meet regularly to study and dis- 
cuss the best current thought in the field of child psychology and 
training, and to get the benefit of group opinion in their individual 
problems. These groups are planned to cover the whole field of 
parental interest and consider children of all ages infancy, early 
childhood, and adolescence and specific aspects of sex education, 
progressive methods in education, and mental hygiene. Study 
groups are conducted at the Association's Headquarters in New 
York City under the leadership of the staff. Other groups con- 
ducted by the Association at settlement houses, schools, welfare 
centers, and religious centers in and around New York City reach 
parents of varied educational and economic background. In some 
of the larger cities of the United States, other child study centers 
have grown up, with the Child Study Association of America as 
the parent organization. 

(2) Lectures and conferences: To supplement the work of the 
study groups, the Association conducts each year a program of lec- 
tures and conferences by specialists and authorities on various 
aspects of child life and education. 

a This report was written from material submitted by the Child Study 

3 For a history of the early organization of this association, see Ch. H. 


(3) Special committees: Study group work is vitally helped, 
too, by the information collected and disseminated by special com- 
mittees of the Association: The Parents' Bibliography Committee, 
the Children's Literature Committee, the Committee on Informa- 
tion about Schools and -Camps, the Music Committee, and the Com- 
mittee on Research in Educational Experiments and Literature. 

(4) Consultation service: A special consultation service has 
been inaugurated at the headquarters of the Association. Those 
parents whose problems in relation to their children, as revealed in 
child-study groups, seem to need more intensive study and assist- 
ance than the group can offer, are referred to the consultant. When 
the situation seems to call for special treatment, parents are directed 
to agencies established and equipped especially for such purposes. 

(5) Library: A library of several thousand volumes is main- 
tained for parents at the headquarters of the Association. Through 
a Unit Package Service, the library supplies groups outside of New 
York City with books. 

(6) Publications : The Association publishes books, pamphlets, 
and book lists which embody study group and staff experience. 
Child Study y a monthly magazine, contains special articles, reviews 
ef educational books and periodicals, reports of lectures and news 
in the field of child study. 

(7) Training for leadership: The Association conducts each 
year an institute or training course for leaders. The Association 
also cooperates in conducting a course in Parental Education at 
Teachers College, Columbia University. 

(8) Parents' conferences: In October, 1925, the Child Study 
Association held the first nation-wide Conference on Modern Par- 
enthood, in New York -City. This conference inspired others, and 
many similar conferences have followed within the past few years 
in various parts of the country. 4 

(9) Cooperation with other agencies: The Association is con- 
stantly called upon by other organizations and agencies for assist- 
ance of various kinds. It endeavors to avoid duplicating the work 
of other organizations, conceiving it to be the special task of the 
Association to make available reliable information, to interpret tech- 
nical discoveries, and to impart tested experience to groups of par- 
ents organized under various auspices. 

* A list of these conferences is given at the end of this chapter. 


(10) Growth: The growth of interest in parental education 
is shown by the following statistics : The total number of study 
groups affiliated with the Child Study Association of America Was 
in 1925-26, 56 ; in 1927-28, 135. The total number of members of 
the Association was in 1925-26, 2626 , in 1927-28, 4750. 

fc. The National Congress of Parents and Teachers. 5 The Na- 
tional Congress of Parents and Teachers, with a membership of one 
and one-quarter million, with branch organizations in forty-seven 
states and in practically every city in the United States, has- at- 
tempted to bring about a closer understanding between the school 
and the home. 6 There are many activities included in its general 
program of child welfare that are of service to mothers, as individ- 
uals, as leaders, and as members of groups. The Parent Teacher 
Associations may be given recognition for the splendid service as a 
cooperative agency with educational institutions in the promotion 
of parent education programs, for the stimulation for study they 
have given to parents, and for the provision they have made, in 
the form of The Child Welfare Magazine, for acquaintance with 
the agencies that are available to serve the child and parent. 

The following brief report gives an idea of the present activities 
of the Association which are related to parent education. s 

(1) Parent-teacher associations : Through the programs of these 
associations parents are realizing what the school is doing and how 
they may help the school to do its best work. Where parent-teacher 
groups have been well organized, school terms have been lengthened, 
better-trained teachers have been demanded, better salaries have 
been paid, better-equipped and better-housed schools have been de- 
veloped, and better community spirit has been secured. 

(2) Preschool study circles: In connection with many parent- 
teacher associations, groups of mothers of preschool children have 
organized study circles. Many of these groups meet monthly or 
semi-monthly to read papers, listen to lectures, or discuss informally 
their problems and interests. 

(3)^The summer round-up: A campaign is conducted by the 
organization to urge parents to bring children about to enter school 
to a free clinic for physical examination. In this way parents are 

5 Tliis report is written from material submitted by the National Congress 
of Paients and Teachers. 

9 For a discussion of the early history of this association, see Ch. II. 


becoming cognizant of their responsibility to send into the school, 
at the age of five or six, children who are free from all remediable 

c. ^&heAm,ericari Association of University Women^ From the 
beginning the American Association of University "Women has been 
|Tn educational organization? 

The present program in education, adopted in 1923, aims to give 
to parents, teachers, social workers, and other adults interested in 
the education of children a more scientific and objective under- 
standing of children, from birth through adolescence, and to 
evaluate the agencies and methods used for their education. 
Through such study the association hopes to improve the methods 
of dealing with children in homes, schools, and other centers estab- 
lished for their education. 

The^educational activities!} extend through its 34,219 members 
and 439 branches, over the entire United States and into some 
foreign countries. 

Below is a summary of the various activities which are a part 
of this program. 

(1) Study by members : "^Study groups] have been organized 
throughout the United States to study and discuss various aspects 
of the education of children. Study by individual members, foster- 
ing lectures, cooperating in conferences and institutes, and pro- 
moting extension courses from universities, are other methods used 
to further study work. 

(2) Community activities :\Jhe members are urged, after a year 
or two of study, to initiate in the community, with the cooperation 
of local educational agencies, projects for the improvement of edu- 
cational conditions. A wide variety of projects are under way. 
State programs for the improvement of rural education; book 
shelves for parents in public libraries ; sponsoring nursery schools, 
play grounds, and clinics; improvement of day nurseries; toy 
exhibits; leadership in study groups of other organizations are 
some of the activities which are being promotecjj 

(3) Publications: G-uidance materials for study groups, bulle- 
tins, and outlines for branch meetings are developed and published. 
Pamphlets and reprints containing subject matter pertaining to the 

7 For a discussion of this early work, see Ch. H. 


national educational program are also published. \Qne-fourth of 
each issue of the Journal of the American Association of University 
Women is reserved for the program in preschool, elementary, and 
adolescent education^" Space is also given for items of educational 
interest in the Month's Work, a monthly publication of the 

(4) Distribution of material : The distribution of this material 
is not limited to members, but is being used by parent-teacher and 
child-study associations, mothers' clubs, libraries, book stores, 
church associations, college faculties, and individuals as well. 

(5) Exhibits of material : Exhibits are sent to branch, state, and 
sectional meetings of the association and to conferences of other 
educational organizations engaged in related work. 

(6) Library service : A traveling library of over 1200 books and 
pamphlets is maintained for study groups and individual members 
of the Association. 

(7) Cooperation: An important phase of the work of the Edu- 
cational Office is cooperation with other agencies and groups de- 
veloping similar programs. Attendance at conferences, participa- 
tion in programs of educational meetings, visits to educational cen- 
ters, and membership on national committees are some of the ways 
in which cooperation is effected. 

An outstanding evidence of the growth of the interest in parental 
education is shown by the following figures for the last four years. 
The dates run from September to September. 

1924-25 1925-26 1926-27 1927-28 

Number of study groups organized 124 193 293 421 

Pieces of literature distributed. ... 3,112 9>520 23,308 26,509 

Number of books and pamphlets lent 460 962 1,693 

d. American Home Economics Association. 3 A large propor- 
tion of the 8839 members of the American Home Economics Asso- 
ciation are teachers of home economics in public schools, colleges, 
and extension departments. Child care is an important part of 
many of these courses and the problems of food, clothing, and man- 
agement are taught in relation to the needs of children. The 
physical care of the child has been largely emphasized in the 

8 This report was organized from material submitted by the American 
Home Economics Association. 


courses as most of the teachers are best prepared to offer this aspect 
of child development. 

So widespread, however, was the interest of the teachers in the 
inclusion in the home economics course of a more comprehensive 
program of child development that in the fall of 1926 the American 
Home Economics Association undertook a special service to its 
members and appointed a field worker in child development and 
parental education to organize and direct a four-year program 
which would aid the schools and colleges in the establishment of 
their child development courses and promote and strengthen this 
important phase of homemaking. 

The child development and parental education program of the 
Association is designed primarily to serve teachers of home eco- 
nomics who are offering preparental or parental courses and home- 
makers who are interested in "professional improvement" in 

The program of the Association is organized to include the fol- 
lowing activities: 

(1) Field work: A general survey has been made of the work 
of the agencies in the field of child development and parental edu- 
cation for the purpose of determining the part which home eco- 
nomics teachers, research workers, and extension leaders can best 
render in promoting education for homemaking and parenthood. 

Active cooperation between the American Home Economics 
Association and other organizations and national committees in- 
terested in the promotion of child development and parental edu- 
cation, has been maintained. Conferences have been held with ad- 
ministrators and home economics workers who wish advice in con- 
nection with the development of parental education programs in 
various home economics departments. 

(2) Publications: The Journal of Home Economics publishes 
annotated 'abstracts of the periodical literature covering child de- 
velopment and parent education. 

(3) Eesearch and investigations : A survey of child development 
and parent education courses offered as a part of home economies 
instruction in schools and colleges, and by extension agencies in 
the forty-eight states, Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico was made in 
cooperation with the 50 state and territorial supervisors of home 


economics, 265 city supervisors of home economics, and 627 col- 
leges offering residence and extension courses in home economics. 

Child care courses which have been successfully presented to 
junior and senior high school girls are being studied in cooperation 
with a carefully selected group of home economies teachers of child 
care in the public schools. 

A study of home management in relation to child care has been 
undertaken as a cooperative project with the 3500 alumnae members 
of two honor home economics fraternities. 

A study of successful men and women with reference to the 
elements which make for satisfactory home and family relationships 
is being made with a selected group of families in cooperation with 
the Bureau of Home Economics, Department of Agriculture. 

e. The Parents Publishing Association. The Parents Publish- 
ing Association was organized in 1925 with the first issue of a 
monthly magazine Children, The Magazine for Parents, in October, 
1926 9 The underlying idea was to disseminate by means of a maga- 
zine of wide circulation the best scientific information on the prob- 
lems presented to parents by children. The magazine has been 
able to associate with it as board of editors, consultants, and ad- 
visory editors, the leading individuals and representatives of or- 
ganizations who are authorities on all phases of child development 
in America to-day. 

The articles are written in popular form, are profusely illus- 
trated, and aim to be practical and helpful rather than strongly 
technical. The circulation of the magazine has grown until in 
April, 1928, it was about 75,000. The association also runs two 
weekly syndicated features one in large town newspapers and 
the other in small-town publications. About 500,000 newspapers 
carry articles on parental education each month as a result of the 
material that is sent out. Each month CJiUdren contains a program 
for group discussion which many parent-teacher associations, 
mothers' clubs, and child-study groups are using to plan their 
group study. This association also publishes pamphlets on topics 
of interest to parents. 

'The following- facts were obtained from The Parents Publishing Asso- 


2. University and Other Centers for Child-Welfare Research 

Perhaps the most significant development in this field and the 
one which undoubtedly will be the most permanent and reliable is 
the organization of centers for research in child development at 
several large universities and special institutions 

The programs at these centers are threefold research, training 
of students, and the dissemination of material. These centers tend 
to stimulate the interest of specialists in the sciences relating to chil- 
dren, give continuity to research, attempt to correlate the scientific 
findings on the various aspects of child life, have modified the cur- 
ricula of undergraduate and graduate colleges, and usually serve 
as a coordinating center for all interests relating to children in a 
given territory. 

The institutes of child-welfare research, or child study, as these 
centers are designated, are located at the state universities of Cali- 
fornia, Iowa, and Minnesota ; the Canadian universities of McGill 
and Toronto ; the private universities of Columbia and Yale ; and 
the two institutions especially organized for this purpose, the 
Merrill-Palmer School at Detroit, Michigan, and the Washington 
Child Research Center at Washington, D. . It is impossible in 
this survey to give a detailed account of each center, but in order 
that a picture may be presented of the services rendered by these 
institutes a discussion will be given of the three pioneer organiza- 
tions. The others will be mentioned briefly with emphasis on re- 
search programs and parent education. 

The Yale Psycho- Clinic, the Iowa Child Welfare Research Sta- 
tion, and The Merrill-Palmer School of HomemaMng are generally 
considered to have blazed the trail in the establishment of labora- 
tories for the study of the preschool child, and, with the exception 
of the Yale Psycho-Clinic, were the first to emphasize the study 
of normal children. These institutions, though conceived for vari- 
ous purposes and functioning quite differently, have each made 
valuable contributions to research in child development and parent 
education, and have offered guidance and leadership to the insti- 
tutions that were organized later. 

a The Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, State University 
of Iowa. In 1917 the Iowa Assembly passed a bill, accompanied by 
a permanent appropriation, for the establishment, as an integral 
part of the university, of the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, 


the purpose of which was stated to be "the investigation of the best 
scientific methods of conserving and developing the normal child, 
the dissemination of the information acquired by such investiga- 
tion, and the training of students for work in such fields." 10 This 
was a radically new idea, largely the result of thoughtful and 
energetic work of leading women in the state. 

The early projects undertaken were studies in physical, mental, 
emotional, social, and moral development. To facilitate these 
studies, a preschool 11 for psychological study and an infant labora- 
tory for studies in nutrition were established. These early projects 
have developed into a series of preschool experiments that in- 
corporate the study of the whole child, and a number of coopera- 
tive experiments with the various departments of the University, 
the state, and the national child- welfare organizations. 12 

Increased state appropriations and grants from national and 
private organizations have made possible the expansion of the 
initial activities. In 1924 the program in parent education was 
organized. Study and discussion groups under trained leadersnip 
were organized in cities, small towns, and rural districts of the 
state. These groups were supplied with traveling libraries sent 
from the department at the University. The first courses for 
parents on a campus of a University were offered during the sum- 
mer session of 1925. In September of the same year a state-wide 
program of parental education was initiated. Field laboratories in 
parental education were established in two cities with the coopera- 
tion of the public school boards. 13 Resident and extension courses 
in child development and parent education were developed at Iowa 
State -College 1 * and Iowa State Teachers College. 15 The Iowa Child 
Welfare Research Station was designated as the coordinating center 
by the State Board of Education. 

In September, 1926, the Iowa State Council of Child Study and 
Parent Education was organized, having as its constituent bodies, 

10 University of Iowa News Bulletin, Vol. HI, June, 1928, No. 6. 

"For a description of the nursery scliool in connection with, this Station, 
see Ch. VIU. 

13 "Administration and Scope of the Iowa Child Welfare Research Sta- 
tion. " University of Iowa Studies, Aims, <md Progress of Research. New 
Series No. 78, June 1, 1924. Published by the University, Iowa City. 

w Eefer this chapter, Local School Systems. 

^Eefer this chapter, Home Economics Extension in Land Grant Colleges, 
Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. 

"Eefer this chapter, Teachers Colleges and Normal Schools. 


state representatives of the Iowa Congress of Parents and Teachers, 
the American Association of University "Women, the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union of Iowa, the State Federation of 
Women's Clubs, the Women's Department of the Iowa Farm Bu- 
reau Federation, the State Department of Health, and also repre- 
sentatives of the extension staff of the State University, the State 
College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and the State Teachers 
College. This Council each year holds a state conference of Child 
Study and Parent Education. 

The courses for parents, both in residence and extension, have 
increased, with a corresponding expansion of staff and students in 
research and instruction. The program of research as taken from 
a later publicity item 16 is outlined as follows : In conjunction with 
the Research Station the College of Education will study the cur- 
riculum as applied to child welfare; the Institute of Character 
Eesearch the morals and personality of the child ; the Department 
of Psychology, as a part of a continuous cooperative project, will 
study the visual art talent. The departments of speech, sociology, 
psychiatry, pediatrics, and nutrition will continue and enlarge upon 
their present programs. The latter department will he considerably 
extended and enlarged, as well as the laboratory for the study of 
infants. The preschools will be expanded and additional studies 
will be made of adolescence. 

6, Institute of Child Welfare, University of Minnesota, Minn. ir 
The Institute of Child Welfare of the University of Minnesota was 
established in July, 1925, for a three-fold purpose : first, the con- 
duet of fundamental and practical research on children; second, 
the training of workers both for service and research in the child- 
welfare field; and third, the dissemination of knowledge and the 
education of parents in the care and training of children. 

The Institute is organized as an independent administrative 
unit of the University and maintains cooperative relationships with, 
a considerable number of University departments : with Anatomy, 
Pediatrics, and Nervous and Mental diseases in the Medical School, 
with Psychology, Sociology, and Public Health Nursing in the 
College of Arts and Sciences, with Educational Psychology and 

M University of Iowa News Bulletin, 3 : June, 1928, No. 6. 
" This discussion was written from a report prepared by the Institute for 
the Yearbook. 


Education in the College of Education, and with Home Economics 
in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics. In 
addition, cooperative relations are maintained with the General 
Extension Division and with the Agricultural Extension Division 
of the University. 

The Institute also cooperates with many outside agencies, both 
state and local, in the conduct of its research and parental educa- 
tion program. 

The research projects undertaken by the Institute and the co- 
operating departments cover many fields anatomy, physiology, 
pediatrics, psychology, education, nutrition, clothing, sociology, and 
others. During the three years of Institute existence, some 98 
projects have been started. Some projects cover a term of years, 
others are relatively brief. 18 

The parental education activities of the Institute may be sum- 
marized under five main heads: (a) credit extension courses; 
(b) correspondence courses ; (c) study groups in cities ; (d) agri- 
cultural extension projects; and (e) miscellaneous activities such 
as the radio course, public lectures, exhibits at the state fair, 
parental education conferences, and traveling libraries. 

c. Institute of Child Study, University of California. The 
nursery school opened and the research program of the Institute 
of Child Study at the University of California began October, 1927. 
The parent education program was initiated in August, 1926. 20 
The Institute of Child Welfare is organized as a separate unit di- 
rectly responsible to the President of the University, with coopera- 
tive relationship to all departments in the University. The Director 
of the Institute is also the Chief of the Bureau of Child Study and 
Parent Education of the State Department of Education. 21 

The following are the purposes of the Institute: (a) to make 
a thorough-going cumulative study of the development of a con- 
siderable number of children from birth through the first 18 years 
of life; (b) to make an intensive study of the development of a 
limited number of children between the ages of 18 months and 36 

M For a list of research studies see "Report of the Institute of Child Wel- 
fare," Vol. XXX, No. 87, January 27, 1928 (Bulletin University of Minnesota, 
Minneapolis, Minn.). 

19 This report was written from notes submitted by the Institute. 

See elsewhere in this chapter. 


months in a nursery school at the Institute; (e) to make a critical 
study of methods of education for parenthood; (d) to undertake 
research upon special problems connected with child development 
as suggested by several departments of the University. 

d. St. George School for Child Study, University of Toronto. 22 
The St. George School for Child Study was established in 1925 at 
the Provincial University of Toronto as a child-study development. 
The nursery school opened in January, 1926. Various departments 
of the University, such as psychology, anatomy, physiology, 
dentistry, psychiatry, education, household sciences, pediatrics, 
and the school of public health nursing, work jointly on research 

The school considers its function to be not to create a new or- 
ganization, but (a) to carry on investigations into sound principles 
of child training, and (b) to train leaders who can make such prin- 
ciples effective by working through existing organizations. 

The research and parental education program is under the 
direction of the head of the psychology department. For the pres- 
ent the research program is devoted to studies in child guidance 
and genetic psychology. Five study courses in parent education 
are offered which may be attended in successive years: Habit 
Training Preschool Age; Management of Child Preschool Age; 
Thinking and Acting School Age; Adolescence; Family Rela- 

e. McGill University. The experiment at McGfill was fostered 
by the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene, and 
opened with the establishment of a nursery school in 1925. Stu- 
dents of the school comprise public health nurses, social workers, 
staff workers of well-baby clinics and day nurseries, as well as 
graduate and undergraduate students within the regular university 
departments. There is a research staff of four members. Parental 
education is carried on by the Mental Hygiene Staff in collabora- 
tion with the nursery school During 1926-27 seven groups were 
conducted, and the parents of the nursery pupils received par- 
ticular attention through special lectures and meetings. The McGill 
Nursery School's influence on the Child Welfare Association of 
Montreal has been marked, especially by the introduction of group 

41 This report was written from notes submitted "by the 8t. George School 
f 03? Child Study. 


teaching of parents in place of the individual type of instruction 
previously in vogue among public health organizations. The Asso- 
ciation has been particularly helpful to the nursery school in 
arranging developmental clinics for the study and teaching of de- 
sirable mental and health habits. 

/. Yale PsycJio-Clinic, Yale University, New Haven, Con- 
necticut. The Yale Psycho-Clinic was established in 1911. Its 
early purpose was to make psychological examinations of backward 
and handicapped children and to give advice in regard to the edu- 
cational treatment of these children. The guidance nursery 23 was 
established in 1926 as part of an extension of the clinical and 
research program. 

The general purpose of the clinic includes: (a) clinical and 
child guidance service for children, with special attention to chil- 
dren of preschool age ; (b) genetic research for the determination 
of norms of development, the study of characteristics of mental 
growth, and formulation of methods of developmental diagnosis. 

The clinic is organized as a quasi-independent unit within the 
Graduate School and the Institute of Psychology, with affiliations 
with the Department of Education and the School of Medicine, 
Some twenty-five state and local community social agencies refer 
cases to the clinic. The State Bureau of Child Welfare refers the 
largest proportion of cases. 

Courses and training are limited chiefly to graduate students. 
Attention is given to training of research workers. 

There are no special courses or extension activities in the field 
of parental training. Work with parents is, for the most part, 
conducted on an individualized guidance basis. 

g. Institute of Child Welfare Research, Teachers College 9 
Columbia University, New York City. 2 * The Institute for Child 
Welfare Research, established in 1924, is an independent unit in 
Teachers College, Columbia University, coordinated with the School 
of Education and the School of Practical Arts. 25 It was established 
for the purpose of conducting research and promoting investigation 
in the preschool period of education and the non-academic phases 
of elementary education. 

33 For a description of the guidance nursery, see Ch. VTtL 
** The report was written from notes submitted by the Institute. 
25 For a description of the nursery school in connection with this Institute, 
see Chapter VEH. 


The departments of nutrition and kindergarten-first grade have 
representatives on the staff of the Institute. The relation to other 
departments is of a consultant and cooperative nature. The Child 
Study Association of America has been closely associated with the 
Institute and the director is consultant in parental education on 
the Institute staff. The Institute has a rather wide consultant 
relationship with the various educational and social service asso- 
ciations in the city. 

The program of research has been along three general lines: 
(1) social, psychological reactions of children, (2) nutrition ex- 
periments, and (3) physiological research carried on by the Medical 

Through the students who are enrolled in the Institute as well 
as the Institute staff, extension work in parental education has been 
developed. A major course is offered for students training to be 
leaders in the field of parental education. 26 

h. The Merrill-Palmer School of Homemaking. 27 The Merrill- 
Palmer School of Homemaking organized at Detroit, Michigan, in 
1920, has as its chief - purpose the education of young women for 
Pjirenthood. This school has given a new emphasis to home eco- 
nomics in the provision of a nursery school as laboratory for the 
study and training of young children. Undergraduate students, 
largely of home economics departments, come from various schools 
and colleges in the United States to attend this school for one 
quarter or one semester. Although it prepared its large program 
for these resident students and the extension classes for girls and 
women in Detroit and Wayne County, it soon found it necessary 
to organize graduate courses and enlarge its research program to 
meet the demands that were being made upon it in this field. The 
school now is classed as a center of research in child development 
and parent education. The graduate students come from varied 
fields psychology, home economics, chemistry, and other subjects 
related to child development. Research has been undertaken in 
the physical growth, the psychology, and the education of preschool 

* Another phase of the parental education program of Teachers College, 
Columbia University, is discussed under Teachers Colleges in this chapter. 

37 For a detailed discussion of the organization of the Merrill-Palmer 
School, see Ch. XI. For a description of the Merrill-Palmer nursery school, 
see Ch. VHI. 


The following is an outline of the parental education program of 
the school as presented in its Sixth Annual Report : 28 

\. Parents of Children in the Nursery Schools Instructed by These 
***** Methods 

Through the Child Himself 

Through Special Conferences with Various Staff Members 

Daily Casual Contacts when Children are Brought 

Attendance at Physical Examinations 

Through Blanks as Filled in by Conference with Specialists 

Through Record-Keeping Required of Parents 

Through Home Visits 

Through Monthly Meetings 

Special Courses (Behavior Problems and Methods of Training) 

Instruction in Special Methods of Training: Corrective Exer- 

cises, Feeding, Behavior ^ 

Assistance in Research Problems: Sleep, Food / 

2. Parents of Children Brought 'to the Consultation Center 
Preliminary Interview with Director, Who Determines Need 
Determination of Facts by Expert 

Outline of Course of Procedure for Parents Following Complete 


Supervision and Reports at Definite Intervals 
Supplemental Bibliographies in Some Cases 

3. Outside Individuals Seeking Assistance from Specialists 
Conferences with Parents in Clinics at Children's Hospital and 

Board of Health 

Supplying of Reading Lists Following Conference 
Reading Lists Prepared for Use of Physicians for Patients 
Conference with Visitors at School 

4. Parental Groups Outside the Nursery Schools 
Regularly Organized Courses 

Special Lectures 

In carrying out its program of parental education the school 
has conducted a number of projects in Detroit and its environs. 
Among them are clinical service in the Children's Hospital and the 
Board of Health; conducting parent groups in connection with 
several local and state organizations, and organizing demonstration 
nursery schools as laboratories for preparental instruction at High- 
land Park and Ann Arbor. 

i. The Washington Child Research Center, Washington, D. C. 
The Washington Child Research Center was established in 1928 for 
the study of normal children and parental education. This center 

Svrth Animal Report, 1925, pp. 54-56. 


is unique in that it is a cooperative venture of eight agencies in 
Washington, D. C. Three of these agencies are national organiza- 
tions : American Association of University Women, American Home 
Economics Association, and the Child Development Committee of 
the Division of Psychology and Anthropology of the National Re- 
search Council ; three of them are government bureaus : Bureau of 
Home Economics, Department of Agriculture; Bureau of Educa- 
tion, Department of the Interior; and the United States Public 
Health Service. Each of these six agencies has a well-developed 
program in research or education directly related to the welfare 
of the child in the home. The establishment of the Center is the 
result of a felt need on the part of these agencies for direct contact 
with children and for a laboratory for developing and evaluating 
techniques for child and parent education. The executive com- 
mittee consists of one member from each of these agencies and one 
member from each of two local universities: University of Mary- 
land, and George Washington University. 

The Center acts as an independent institution, although it is 
closely affiliated with the agencies mentioned and with other uni- 
versities and organizations in the city. Its courses are open to stu- 
dents from affiliated institutions. Eesearch is conducted by per- 
sonnel from affiliated agencies as well as by the staff of the Center. 

The center maintains a nursery school and a consultation center 
for parents. 

j. Other Research Centers. Besides these centers for child wel- 
fare research there are a number of other research units, either 
independent, or associated with a department of a university or 
social agency which are reported elsewhere in this chapter. Some 
of these programs are new, but a number have been devoted to 
some special interest in child life for a period of years. The centers 
of special interest are : the Institute for Juvenile Research, Chicago, 
with a newly organized preschool branch ; the Institute for Child 
Guidance, to replace the Bureau for Child Guidance, New Torik 
City ; the Child Institute in the Department of Psychology, Johns 
Hopkins University; the nursery schools with research programs 
in the Department of Home Economics at the University of Cin- 
^cinnati, and the New York State College of Home Economics, 
Cornell University. 


3. Teachers Colleges and Normal Schools 

The parental education programs in teachers' colleges, normal 
schools, and departments of education in state and private uni- 
versities are still in the early stage of organization. The scope and 
function of such a program in a teacher training institution has not 
yet been clearly defined by educators. The program may include 
one or more of the following: (1) lectures on child development, 
with or without laboratory facilities, (2) a study of children in a 
nursery school, (3) observance or participation in classes for par- 
ents, (4) provision for the training of leaders for child study discus- 
sion groups, (5) research studies on child development and pa- 
rental education and (6) service of a behavior clinic. Through the 
parents' classes in a nursery school which serves as a laboratory for 
the academic course, the student develops an understanding attitude 
toward the parent's problems and toward the child in the school 
and home. This program may be extended further so as to include 
a specific course in parental education, in which methods of organi- 
zation of classes, courses of study, discussion of parents' problems, 
and perhaps experience in conducting discussion groups of parents 
may be given. The behavior clinic assists the parent of the problem 
child and provides further laboratory facilities for students. 

The establishment of a nursery school, preschool laboratory, or 
prekindergarten, as the laboratory may be designated, usually initi- 
ates the program. In this laboratory the students in kindergarten 
and primary education (the department in which these courses are 
usually offered) have the opportunity to study the early develop- 
ment of children with equal attention to the physical, emotional, 
educational, and social growth, not only in school but also in the 
home and in the community. 

a. Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls, Iowa. At the 
Iowa State Teachers College besides the course in child development 
and a prekindergarten for observation of students in kindergarten 
and primary education, an extension course in child development 
for teachers was organized in 1926, followed by a course in genetics 
in 1927. A number of classes for which credit was given were held 
in several school systems throughout the state. A specialist in child 
study was placed on the extension staff to organize and direct these 
classes. This course attempts to acquaint the teacher with the re- 


search, program, with the literature in this field, and to arouse an 
interest in child development, with particular emphasis on behavior 
problems. This program is part of a statewide organization for 
Child Study and Parent Education in Iowa with the Iowa Child 
Welfare Research Center as a coordinating center. 29 

b. State Teachers College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This insti- 
tution has a course in parental education which, is required of all 
third- and fourth-year students of the kindergarten-primary de- 
partment. The course includes discussions relative to the obligation 
of the home, school, and community to the child, with considera- 
tion of the ways in which these obligations are being met ; problems 
in the education of parents; ways in which the teacher may co- 
operate with home and community to raise the status of child wel- 
fare. The students make out programs for study groups, devise 
blanks for recording parents' observations, and organize reading 
lists for parents. In the Elementary Training School where the 
students observe and do their practice teaching, the parents of 
children in the nursery school spend one day in every two weeks 
at school and the nursery-school teacher makes frequent home 
visits. Thus, through theory courses and contact with an active 
school program, students preparing to be teachers are getting a 
point of view towards home and parents which ought to bring about 
a more integrated educational program for children. 

c. The National Kindergarten and Elementary College?* The 
present program for parental education of the National Kinder- 
garten and Elementary College, at Evanston, Illinois, was initiated 
February, 1926. A department of parental education and a be- 
havior clinic were organized to serve the parents, either as patrons 
of the school or members of the community. 

The purpose of the program is: (1) to cooperate with parents 
of children in the Demonstration School at the College in training 
them for their specific responsibilities in the home education of 
their children and to give them an intelligent understanding of 
the school program ; and (2) to provide training and help by means 

" The Iowa state program is described in the preceding pages of this 

M This report was written from material prepared by the President for the 
Yearbook Committee. 


of a behavior clinic for any parents in the community who may wish 
to avail themselves of the opportunity. 

The parental education program provides a general program, 
special courses for parents, and consultation service. The general 
program consists of four meetings yearly of parents of all children 
in the demonstration school, public lectures by outside speakers, 
evening conferences with room teachers, and teas and discussion 
groups for mothers and teachers of each room. 

Two courses behavior problems, and materials and methods 
for home education are arranged for parents. These are not the 
usual academic courses required for the student in training, but are 
organized especially to meet the parents' needs and problems. 
Besides these two courses, many parents have enrolled in the College 
for regular courses which interest them, but which were offered 
primarily for young women preparing to be teachers. 

The behavior clinic offers consultation service to any parent and 
has been especially helpful to those enrolled in the course on be- 
havior problems. 

There also is an effort made to impress the student in training 
with the responsibilities a teacher should take with parents' prob- 
lems, the organization of programs for parent-teacher meetings, 
training in handling the common problems which may arise between 
parent and teacher, and so forth. Besides this there is a research 
program, a nursery school, and a course for the training of nursery 
school teachers. 31 

The college also has an experiment in preschool and parent 
education in a foreign community at the Mary Crane Nursery 
School 32 in the Hull House Settlement in Chicago. 

d. Teachers College, Columbia University. The Institute of 
Child Welfare Research, Teachers College, Columbia University, 
has developed a program in parental education in conjunction with 
the Child Study Association. 83 

Besides the work in the Institute, the kindergarten-primary 
department has developed a program of parent and teacher co- 

n For a further account of the training of nursery school teachers, see 

oh. xm. 

** A description of the Mary Crane Nursery School is given in Ch. VTU. 
18 A discussion of the program at the Child Welfare Research Institute of 
Teachers College has been given previously in this chapter. 


operation in connection with, the practice schools. The program 
includes an exchange of reports and records between parents and 
teachers, home visiting, school visiting by parents, individual con- 
ferences, and group meetings. Students in practice teaching have 
an opportunity to participate in these activities. The theory courses 
include discussions of the value of parental education and a con- 
sideration of the total life of the child. 

4. Women's Colleges 

The colleges for women have also contributed to this field. Two 
of the recent innovations for the education of women that warrant 
attention are the Institute for the Coordination of Women's In- 
terests at Smith -College and the Department of Euthenics at Vassar 
College. - These experiments, though they differ in purpose and 
function, attack vital problems in the education for women, in the 
status of home and social life, and may serve as a stimulus for 
improvement in social and economic conditions and for advance- 
ment of the status of women. 

a. The Institute for tJie Coordination of Women's Interests.** 
This experiment at Smith College is more a research study of the 
economic and professional problems in the lives of women of to-day 
than a project in parental education. The Institute was organized 
in 1925 "with the purpose of finding principles and methods for 
the continuity of women's individual intellectual or professional 
interests, in harmony with their family responsibilities. The early 
statements of the program and policy of the Institute brought out 
that the educated women's present disuse after marriage of special 
powers which it has cost much in money, time, and effort to achieve, 
is an element of social waste and a source of much personal regret, 
in some cases mounting to unhappiness. The central aim of the 
Institute was thus seen as an aim toward the conservation of valu- 
able social material. . . . 

"It was clear that for the persons we had in mind that is, 
women college graduates, relatively young, with family responsi- 
bilities, and with incomes in the professional or academic range, 
types of cooperative service or assistance in the household offered 
the most immediately fruitful field for study, for this reason : that 

** For further discussion, see Oh. II. 


such arrangements, if successful, gave, along with, money saving 
and assurance of quality, a certain individual release from care 
or interruption which was the one great desideratum." 85 

The most important experiment in household adjustments which 
the Institute has undertaken has been the cooperative nursery 
school at Smith College. 36 

fc. The Institute of Euthenics, Vassar College. As an inde- 
pendent experiment in conjunction with the recently organized De- 
partment of Euthenics at Vassar College, 37 an Institute of Eu- 
thenics was organized for one month during the summer of 1926. 
Its initial objective was to offer to Yassar alumnae who were 
mothers the results of scientific research in education, human be- 
havior, child development, and the techniques of homemaking. 
These courses have continued for the third year with enlarged 
facilities, increased staff, and unrestricted enrollment of college 
graduates or those with an equivalent preparation. The Institute 
has the most inclusive program in parental education that has been 
arranged. It not only gives consideration to the study of the child 
and provides a nursery school and a primary group of children as 
an observation laboratory for the students, but also offers such 
courses in household techniques as nutrition, practical cookery, 
household technology, and gardening, and courses in economics with 
emphasis upon laws affecting women and the home, together with a 
study of human relationships. It attempts to fulfill in every 
respect the idea of what the word euthenics signifies "the im- 
provement of the race through environment." 38 

5. Other Colleges and Universities 

There are a number of colleges and universities that have ar- 
ranged courses in child study for parents, either as a part of the 
extension program or as special classes in the college curriculum. 
In most cases the realization of the parents for the need of a better 

"Howes, Ethel Puffer, and Beach, Dorothea. The Cooperative Nursery 
Sohool, Smith College Publication, 1928. 

"For a description of this school, see Ch. VHI. 

87 See Ch. IX, also Vassar College Bulletin, 1927-28. 

W A report of the Institute held in 1926 may be found in the following 
magazines : Journal of the American Association of University Women, April, 
1927; The Child Study Bulletin, October, 1926; The Woman's Citwen, now 
Women's Journal, October, 1926; The Survey Graphic, December, 1926. 


understanding of their problems was the stimulus for the organiza- 
tion of these courses. The wide variance in the department or 
division of the college that directed and initiated such a program 
is due largely to the personality, ability, and interests of certain 
faculty members. 

a. Cleveland College, Western Reserve University. A number 
of social agencies 39 in Cleveland realized the need of a method for 
reaching the parents of children with behavior problems. In an 
attempt to meet this situation sufficient interest was created to 
organize an extension course in child study at the School of Ap- 
plied Social Science of Western Reserve University. The first 
course open to parents, visiting teachers, nurses, and social workers 
was offered during the second half-year 1924-25. A professor of 
psychology of the Cleveland School of Education, assisted by spe- 
cialists, conducted the course. The course was designed to afford 
training in the control of conduct of young children, particularly 
in the home, and for the training of leaders of child-study groups. 
With emphasis on the behavior of normal children and the use of 
the latest literature in this field, the work consisted of discussions, 
lectures, assigned readings, and continuous observations of chil- 
dren. The interest shown in the first class and the demand for 
further study warranted the continuance of this course with an 
additional one to cover the development of the school child. 

These courses were moved from the School of Applied Social 
Sciences to Cleveland College, a unit for adult education of Western 
Reserve University, and organized into a Division of Parental Edu- 
cation in February, 1927. Accordingly, the courses offered in this 
department are more inclusive of home and family problems. The 
announcement for the fall term 1928 offers the following: Pro- 
motion of Health, Prevention of Disease, and Care of the Sick in 
the Home ; Nutrition and the Cultivation of Correct Food Habits 
in Children in Relation to the Development of the Child at Different 
Ages; Housekeeping and Good Management: Their Contribution 
to Family Life and Child Welfare; Art in the Home; The Psy- 
chology and Education of Children of Preschool Age; The Psy- 
chology and Home Education of the Child of Six to Twelve ; The 
Psychology and Home Education of the Adolescent; Family Rela- 

89 See further on in this chapter under "Social Agencies.' 


tions: The Emotional and Intellectual Factors, Family Relations: 
Further Analysis of the Mechanisms Involved; Parental Education 
Leadership; Fathers' Problems in the Home Education of Chil- 
dren ; Training Course for Parent-Teacher Work. 

&. Johns Hopkins University** The members of the child-study 
group of the Baltimore branch of the American Association of Uni- 
versity Women and the Chapter of the Child Study Association 
gave the stimulus for the arrangement of an extension course for 
parents by the Department of Psychology of Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity in 1925 and 1926. With the organization of a child in- 
stitute under the department of psychology various services have 
been arranged for parents. The primary purpose of the Institute 
is to provide facilities for research toward the solution of problems 
in child psychology. It is the aim of the Institute to select those 
children whose parents are interested to cooperate in the analysis 
of the factors that determine the behavior of the child. This in- 
volves observation by the parent of the effect of home conditions 
upon the child and willingness to participate in conferences and in 
the redirection of the activities of the child. Parents are also given 
the opportunity to observe under direction the child in the In- 
stitute set-up. 

Courses in child psychology are open to parents. Members of 
the Institute staff and graduate students specializing in the study 
of the child serve as leaders or special lecturers for child-study 
groups organized by several associations. As a result of these con- 
tacts parents come to the Institute for conferences concerning prob- 
lems of child development and children are brought for special 

c. University of Cincinnati^ The courses in parent education 
at the University of Cincinnati are directed by a professor of child 
care and training in the School of Household Administration. This 
program consists largely in the training for leadership of a large 
number of groups "which range from Junior League to the poorest 
district of the city." The Mothers' Training Center Association, 
consisting of a group of citizens interested in the problems of child 
care and parent education, is largely responsible for this interest, 
the organization of groups, and the financing of the project. The 

40 From a recent report submitted by the Institute. 

tt For a discussion of the preparental woik at this institution, see Ch. XI 


course offered is outlined briefly: content course, short course in 
technique of leadership, special conference to take up specific topics 
for discussion group, observation of children in nursery schools, and 
supervision of group discussions. The University also has a re- 
search program in child development. 

6. Home Economics Extension in Land Grant Colleges 

A change of emphasis in home economics education from house- 
keeping to homemaking is being felt in the extension programs 
as well as the academic courses. Child Care and Training projects 
are given some consideration among the many projects that are 
offered in household technology by directors of extension in home 
economics at the land grant colleges in each state. 42 Frequently 
this project is initiated through the foresight of women, lay and 
professional, who realize the inadequacy of the present program of 
household techniques and see the value of the dissemination of in- 
formation on child study to parents. There is a general need for 
the reorganization of most extension programs to meet the interests 
of the modern homemaker. An attempt to accomplish this is being 
made by the American Home Economics Association. 43 

a. State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, University 
of Georgia. The extension and resident courses in child study of 
the Division of Home Economics at the Georgia State College of 
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, organized in 1925, were directed 
for three years by one specialist only. With this limited staff a 
less comprehensive and intensive program was offered than in the 
states where a larger staff was provided to initiate such a project 
The extent of its acceptance in the state was largely dependent upon 
the efforts of the individuals and organizations that could be stimu- 
lated to take responsibility for the promotion of this new movement. 
Therefore a general publicity program with emphasis on subject 
matter and the training for leadership was given. The training 
of leaders consists in courses for county and home demonstration 
agents, teachers of home economics, and social workers; institute 
programs, and special instruction for directors of child-study 

43 For a discussion of the provision in regard to the Smith-Lever appropria- 
tion, see the Reports of the Extension Service, United States Department of 

48 See earlier in this chapter under ' ' Organizations, ' ' also Ch. H. 


groups from organizations such as the American Association of 
University Women, Parent-Teacher Associations, and Federation 
of "Women's Clubs 

This work is extended to the colored people of Georgia through 
the colored county and home demonstration agents, teachers, social 
workers, and parent-teacher associations. 

The courses in extension and in residence will be reorganized 
for 1928-9. Since July 1, 1928, the staff has been enlarged to 
seven members. A nursery school and facilities for research are a 
part of the new program. 

I. University of Illinois.* 41 One of the earliest experiments in 
the organization of a child care and training project as part of 
home economics extension service was conducted in Illinois. In 
February, 1925, a specialist in child care and training was ap- 
pointed for part time on the staff of the Home Economics Extension 
Service of the University. At this date one county had already 
adapted the project under the leadership of the Home Advisor. 45 

Child-study groups were organized in six counties under the 
direction of the specialist. In cooperation with the specialist, the 
home advisor and the Executive Board of the Home Bureau decided 
upon policies for work in the county. As might be expected, these 
policies differed. In some counties enrollment was limited to par- 
ents of preschool children; in others, meetings were open to all. 
In most of the counties a series of monthly meetings was held at 
one or two communities ; in one county meetings were held at vari- 
ous points in order to cover a wider territory and reach a greater 
number of people. In but one county did the specialist train local 
leaders to direct a portion of the work. 

In January, 1926, a specialist was appointed for full time to 
continue and expand the extension program and to organize resi- 
dent work. The resident course, however, was not offered until the 
spring semester, 1927. 

** This discussion was prepared from a report written for the Yearbook by 
the specialist in Child Care and Training. 

48 Illinois is one of the three states that have organized a Home Bureau with 
a Home Advisor as its professional representative to arrange for the local ex- 
tension service in the county in lieu of the Farm Bureau or a local committee 
and a Home Demonstration Agent, as is the plan common in most states. In 
1925, there were twenty counties with organized Home Bureaus directed by 
Home Advisors in Illinois. 


The extension program has been expanded to include nineteen 
counties, a portion of which have had a series of meetings continu- 
ing three, four, five, or six months of one year ; another group has 
continued the work for two years, while one county has had a series 
of meetings for the fourth successive year. Over two hundred 
communities have been represented in the organized study groups 
in the various counties. 

In these study groups enrollment has been limited in order to 
encourage free discussion, and emphasis has been put upon reading 
and study. Parents are urged to find out what scientists have to 
say, then try to apply the knowledge gained to their own particular 
home and child-development problems. 

c. Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. "Ex- 
tension classes in child care and training were first organized at 
Iowa State College in November, 1925, after the subject had been 
successfully introduced as part of the home economics curriculum 
for undergraduate students. 46 In the first year of the extension 
classes, monthly instruction was given to fourteen study groups of 
women by the extension specialist in child care and training. The 
groups were sponsored by such organizations as the Farm Bureau, 
the local branch, of the American Association of University Women, 
the Parent-Teacher Association, and the Federation of Women's 
Clubs, but not all the women in the study groups were members 
of these associations. ' * 

"In addition to study groups similar to those of 1925-26, the 
leader-training plan so successfully used in other fields of the co- 
operative extension service has been inaugurated with five child- 
study grpups in one county. Each group consists of about twenty 
women, chosen by their communities because of special ability and 
qualities of leadership. The college specialist in child care and 
training meets with each group for one day a month from November 
to August and trains them in the subject matter needed to lead the 
work of their local study groups. Printed or mimeographed ma- 
terial on the points emphasized is given to each leader for the mem- 
bers of her group, so that she need not attempt to give original 
advice for solving problems of child health and behavior. " 47 

**For discussion of preparental courses with, undergraduate students, see 
Oh. XI. 

* Excerpts from Journal of Some Economics, Vol. 19, No. 5, May, 1927, 


This program Is part of the state program for Child Study and 
Parent Education for which the Iowa Child Welfare Research Sta- 
tion of the State University serves as the coordinating center and 
the State Council for Child Study and Parent Education as a co- 
operative agency. 

d. New York State College of Home Economics, Cornell Uni- 
versity. A child-study project was introduced in the extension pro- 
gram of the New York State College of Home Economics in 1925, at 
the same time that the nursery school, the resident courses, and the 
research program in child study were established on the campus. 48 

This extension program was organized on the policy that at 
least for the first few years the child-study lessons could not be 
presented by local leaders, that the subject matter for child train- 
ing was in a different category from that of household arts and sci- 
ences, and that therefore it was necessary to experiment in the 
methods for the selection and training of leaders for the presenta- 
tion of this subject matter. It implies that the women whom it is 
customary for the Home Bureau to appoint as local leaders to 
transmit the subject matter on various phases of household tech- 
nology from the specialist to a local group will not necessarily 
qualify for the leadership of a child-study group. 

The program was organized on a county- wide plan, with an 
attempt to cooperate with all agencies and institutions interested in 
the welfare of children. To initiate such a project, a five-day in- 
stitute, which provided an inclusive program on all phases of child 
life, was held. This was followed by the organization of study and 
discussion groups, supplemented by service to individuals on special 
problems, home visits, bibliographies of books for children and 
parents, exhibit of materials, outlines of lectures, selected pamphlets 
and so forth. 

In 1927-28 two specialists were added to the staff. The program 
consisted of a series of six lecture-discussions on child behavior, 
which were conducted at county-wide meetings. 

e. Olno State University, Columbus, Ohio. The child training 
project of the extension service in Home Economics of the College 
of Agriculture, Ohio State University, is conducted by the health 
specialist who has been directing classes in positive health among 
the rural women of the state since 1919. The classes in child study 

48 See this chapter, section on "Nursery Schools," also Oh. XI. 


developed from the health, project, which consisted of lessons on 
prenatal care, infant care, care of the preschool child, home care of 
the sick, and nursing in communicable diseases. The specialist 
found in giving these courses on the care of the child, especially 
on the training of health habits, that there were other problems in- 
volved and many questions asked by the mothers that were not 
included in the subject matter on physical care of the child. 49 

In order to meet this demand the child-study project in Ohio 
was initiated in the summer of 1926. The groups met once a month 
for four months for a half -day with the specialist. The discussions 
in most instances were given to the following topics : habit forma- 
tion; obedience; punishment and rewards; anger, jealousy, lies; 
the use of money, or play, playthings, and imagination. A set of 
books was furnished to each study group by the State Library. The 
meetings consisted mainly of discussion of reading done by mem- 
bers on the problems confronting them and subject matter presented 
by the specialist. 

Each member of these groups has the following responsibilities ; 
regular attendance at meeting, reading of assignment, reports on 
reading, keeping records of the behavior of the child or of sugges- 
tions received in class which were incorporated in the home. 

"So far, the local leader plan has not been used because this 
work is so new that it seems wiser to progress slowly and carefully. 
The danger of a leader giving all sorts of advice with behavior 
problems seems rather great." 50 

7. State Departments of Vocational Education 

Through the state departments of vocational education with 
funds provided by the Smith-Hughes appropriation, a program in 
child study has been initiated in several states as part of the adult 
program of vocational home economics. This program is supposed 
to offer to the urban woman what the extension service, provided 
by the Smith-Lever fund, gives to the rural woman. 51 

* 9 For discussion of the reorganization of health programs to include all 
phases of child development, see under * ' Health Agencies * ' 

80 Excerpts from report of health specialist Extension service, College of 
Agriculture, Ohio State University. 

"For a discussion of the Smith-Lever program see under "Home Eco- 
nomics Extension in Land Grant Colleges." For a discussion of the provisions 
in regard to the use of the Smith-Hughes appropriation, see the Beport of the 
Bureau of Vocational Education. 


The introduction of these courses into the vocational education 
program of Oklahoma and Nebraska has given a broader interpre- 
tation of the law and is suggestive of further possibilities for the 
development of a program. The principal innovations in the ad- 
ministration of this program are: 

(1) The employment of teachers other than four-year home 
economics majors with professional, vocational or practical home- 
making experience. Public health nurses, specialists in behavior 
problems or parent education, and mothers with an understand- 
ing attitude toward children have served as leaders of discussion 

(2) The placing of these teachers on the staff of a public school 
system for service to parents. 

(3) The adjustment of the budget to provide for these classes 
in tie regular school system or the part-time and evening 
classes. Thus another means of financing these courses is provided. 
Through the foresight and cooperation of the state supervisor, the 
local director of vocational classes, the superintendent of schools, 
and the parents, it is now possible to finance classes in child study 
in almost any community. 

a. Oklahoma. 52 In Oklahoma a program in parental education 
has been conducted during the past seven years under the direction 
of the State Department of Vocational Education, Home Economics 
Division, in cooperation with public schools of the state. This 
program is a phase of adult home economics education. The 
classes in Oklahoma have been termed "mother craft" classes. At 
present five full-time teachers are engaged. 

Instruction is arranged in progressive units, which permits 
both freedom and choice in enrollment according to specific needs 
or continued attendance. Units include health and behavior ad- 
justment problems pertaining to the preschool child, the school 
child, and the adolescent, such phases of home management and 
family relationships as will provide a suitable environment for ade- 
quate child development, and sufficient leisure on the part of 
mothers to secure time to devote to the interests of their children. 

The mothereraft program has become a civic institution in 
many cities where it is under way. Community enterprises and 

"Report written by the State Supervisor of Home Economics Education. 


projects, such as the sponsoring of public lectures and programs, 
preschool clinics, book exhibits, and back-yard playground con- 
tests have been sponsored by these students. 

"The continued increase in enrollment and the requests for 
these classes in other cities is the best indication of the fact that 
such classes are meeting needs and giving instruction which parents 
want. It would seem that possibilities are limited only by ability 
to secure adequately trained teachers, and financial support." 53 
The total enrollment in these classes for 1927-28 was between 4000 
and 4500. 

fc. Nebraska. The "Mother Training Course," as these classes 
are designated in Nebraska, was begun in Omaha in 1922. It has 
been offered at the part-time and evening classes of the Vocational 
Education program of several cities in the state since 1923. The 
initial course offered was "Child Care and Home Management." 
This has been reorganized and extended to include many phases 
of home-making and family relationship. The course is organized 
in short units of six to ten meetings. Usually the interest of the 
classes demands continuation after the first unit is completed. 
Local leaders are recruited and trained by means of personal con- 
ferences and correspondence with either local or state supervisors. 

Part-time teachers are employed, except in the larger cities such 
as Lincoln and Omaha. The latter has a full-time supervisor for 
these courses. 

In 1927-28 the work was extended in four rural centers and four 
new towns. In Home Economics Education the mother training 
and nutrition classes have made the greatest percentage of increase 
in enrollment. 

A new piece of work, organized in Omaha, 1927-28, was to con- 
duct evening classes in home-making, which were attended by men 
and women. There have been five sueh classes with fifty men and 
women in very regular attendance. 54 

88 Excerpt from letter sent to the Yearbook Committee by State Supervisor 
of Home Economics, Oklahoma. 

64 The report of the work in Nebraska was made from recent reports of the 
supervisors to the Yearbook Committee and from Vocational Education, Vol. I, 
No. 6, July 1926, (State Board for Vocational Education, Lincoln, Nebraska). 


8. State Department of Education 

a. California. In 1926 when plans were made for a child study 
and parent program in the State Department of Education of Cali- 
fornia, it seemed that the most feasible arrangement was to add 
these courses to the already well-organized Division of Adult Edu- 
cation, since this was the one from which the people were accus- 
tomed to expect educational opportunities. Thus the Bureau of 
Child Study and Parent Education was organized as part of the 
Division of Adult Education, with the director of the Institute for 
Child Study at the University of California as its chief. The pur- 
poses of the program are: (1) to present to parents in non- 
technical language the opinions of recognized experts in the field 
of child study; (2) to afford parents the opportunity for directed 
practice in the analysis of the common problems connected with 
child development and child behavior and opportunity for directed 
practice in the application of generalized information to concrete 
situations; and (3) to afford parents the opportunity for the direct 
observation of young children in a child-study laboratory. 

These study groups are organized through the cooperation of 
already existing organizations whose membership and aims indicate 
that they will be interested in this branch of adult education, such 
as the California Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associa- 
tion, Federated Women's Clubs, and the American Association of 
University Women. 

It is necessary for the leader of the study group to be at least 
twenty-five years old and to hold a special teaching credential in 
"Child Study and Parent Education." 55 

During 1927-28, when two full-time specialists in child study 
were placed on the staff, sixty classes were organized. Of these 
sixty, thirty-eight are in the larger cities, Los Angeles, Long Beach, 
Pasadena, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento, 
and Stockton. The other classes are scattered in towns and rural 
districts. The leaders vary: some are local people; others are 
specialists. A number of classes have been organized for fathers. 56 

85 State Department of Education, Bureau of Child Study and Parent Edu- 
cation, Sacramento, California. Bulletin No. 1, April 5, 1927. ' 'Information 
concerning 1 the organization and maintenance of groups for cjuld study and - 
parent education as part of the public school system Of 'Caliloriiiar'* 

56 From report sent to Yearbook Committee by Chief, 'Bureau of Child 
Study and Parent Education, Division of Adult Education. California State 
Department of Education. 


9. Local Public School Systems 

The idea that a public school system may be of farther service 
to the community than through just the regular day school is being 
commonly accepted. There are any number of facilities that may 
be extended to the members of the community and especially to the 
adult population by slight adjustments in the school system. A 
parental education program is one such additional service that may 
be incorporated into the program of a socialized public-school sys- 
tem. The experiments of the State Department of Vocational 
Education in Oklahoma and Nebraska, and the Division of Adult 
Education, California State Department of Education, are public 
school ventures into the field of parental education. 57 There are 
other school systems that are experimenting with various methods 
whereby a parental education program may be organized in a 
public-school system. Council Bluffs and Des Moines, Iowa, and 
Cleveland, Ohio, may have a few suggestions to offer in the near 
future, since experiments are being made in these cities. 

a. Iowa. As a part of the state-wide program for child study 
and parental education directed by the Iowa 'Child Welfare Ee- 
search Station 58 two experiments were organized September, 1925, 
in two public schools in the state, namely, Des Moines and Council 
Bluffs. The objectives of the experiment, as stated in a report of 
the Iowa Child Welfare Research, 1925-26, are as follows : 

The aim in each of the two cities, Des Moines and Council 
Bluffs, has been to set up an experimental laboratory problem in 
cooperation with the school board in order to determine the best 
methods of stimulating- and directing- parents in the field of parent 

Some of the specific aims of the field laboratory workers are: 
to determine how far parents will study their own children and 
how best to accomplish this end; to determine whether parent 
training- can be directly coordinated with the public schools through 
the board of education, superintendent, teachers, and parent organi- 
zations; to formulate a method for introducing parent education 
into a city school system; and to work out an administrative 
method of conducting such work so as to determine as far as pos- 
sible the cost to the community. 

At Des Moines the kindergarten supervisor was released for 
part time to direct the program. The work seems to be restricted, 

See elsewhere in this chapter. 
See earlier in this chapter. 


unintentionally however, to parents of preschool children. The 
Parent-Teacher Association organized the study circles, made a 
survey of preschool children, held clinics, etc. The discussion 
groups are led by local women who are members of a class for 
leaders in charge of the director. 

At Council Bluffs a director of child study and parental edu- 
cation was given a full-time position on the staff of the public-school 
system. She has organized and directed the groups, which are 
largely composed of the parents of children in the elementary 
grade. For the last two years she was given a part-time assistant 
and has held a class for training leaders, who will be able to con- 
tinue and expand the program. 

&. Cleveland, Ohio. In the fall of 1926 the Board of Educa- 
tion undertook an experiment in parental education to determine 
whether parents in Cleveland desired to have provisions made for 
assisting them in improving their methods of dealing with children. 
The dean of the School of Education of Western Reserve University 
is director of the parental education program. The work is under 
the immediate supervision of a field worker. During the first 
year the experiment was confined to one school group in order to 
obtain information about the kind of materials desired by parents 
and the best way of presenting them. During 1927-28 six study 
groups were conducted by volunteer leaders. Local leaders are 
being trained by special supervision and summer courses. 

Since the program is wholly experimental and largely explora- 
tory, the workers have been confined to the use of such techniques 
as could be used to determine the needs of parents; the methods 
most fruitful in use, and materials available for use of parents 
and group leaders. 

10. Private Schools 

Many of the modern private schools have been established on 
the initiative of parents who desired to give their children special 
educational opportunities. Owing to this fact the directing board 
is often composed of parents. Such schools have in many cases 
developed extensive programs for the education of the parents of 
the children in the school. These programs usually have a three- 
fold aim : to keep parents informed as to the policies and program 
of the school, to help parents understand the developmental needs 


of their children, and to help both teachers and parents more fully 
to understand individual children and the specific problems of 
adjustment and education which they may present. Increasingly 
an emphasis has been placed upon the value of an interchange of 
knowledge and experience between parents and teachers 59 It is 
impossible to review all of the work which is being done, but the 
work of a few schools will be presented as examples. 60 

a. Ethical Culture School, New York City. This school has a 
Parent-Teacher Association which initiates and develops most of 
the parental education projects. There are two annual meetings, 
the one in the fall for the presentation of the, aims and ideals of the 
school. There are several different types of study groups organized 
on the basis of various aspects of child life to be studied, the grade 
in which the children are located, including fathers' groups, and 
so forth. A course is given for nurses and governesses. A quar- 
terly magazine and handbook are published. The group also has 
undertaken such projects as planning for afternoon recreation for 
the children or providing school excursions which later have been 
taken over by the school. Through such a varied program the 
responsibility of both parents for the improvement of the school 
and the home through a better mutual understanding is increased. 

&. Tower Hill School, Wilmington, Delaware** In common 
with other modern schools that believe in the unity of a child's 
growth, Tower Hill School has considered parental education as one 
of its chief functions. The work of enlisting the active and en- 
thusiastic cooperation of parents in the education and training 
of their children has three principal phases: (1) Frequent grade 
conferences between parents and teachers, so that the new pro- 
cedure of the school may be understood and given suitable support 
at home. These conferences are informally organized with a par- 
ent as chairman. (2) The activities, both social and instructive, 
of the parent-teacher group as a whole, such as lectures, dinners, 
and affairs of the "father and son" type. (3) The child study 
groups, representative of such common interests as the nursery, 

w See discussion in Ch. IX. 

60 An interesting group discussion on * ' The relation of parents to progres- 
sive schools ' ' was held at the meeting of the Progressive Education Association 
in New York City, March, 1928. A report of this conference is given in 
Progressive Education, July, 1925, 274-6. 

* Report written by the headmaster of the school for the Yearbook. 


primary, preadolescent, and adolescent stages. These groups have 
their headquarters at the school, and, as far as possible, are con- 
ducted by experienced leaders. Each year the child-study courses 
are inaugurated by a well-known leader in this field who assists in 
the work of organization and gives the whole plan impetus by an 
inspiring talk. A feature of special interest is the dinners for the 
fathers, representing various age groups. 

A most valuable feature of the whole plan is the maintenance 
on the staff of a psychologist to administer tests, to consult with 
parents, and to study individual children. 

c. TTte North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, Illinois* 2 
The Parents Association of the North Shore Country Day School 
is organized primarily for the parents and not for the teachers or 
the students. The principal aim of the Association is to educate 
the parents to a better understanding of their position in the scheme 
of education of their children's lives. 

The Association functions with a president and an executive 
committee of eleven people who guide the work of the thirteen sub- 
groups, one for each grade in the school. Either the chairman or 
vice-chairman in each of the groups must be a father. This rule 
was made at the request of the fathers. Meetings must be held 
at times when fathers can come, except for occasional mothers' 
meetings to make costumes and attend to matters of that type. 

The meetings have fallen into three classes. First, meetings 
of a distinctly social nature in which the parents attempt to come 
into social contact with each other and with their children so that 
they more fully may understand the problem of the grade by know- 
ing the parents and the children in the grade. Second, meetings 
devoted to child study in which the parents undertake to study 
their jobs professionally. These meetings consist of book reviews, 
discussions of such matters as discipline, reading, homework, etc., 
and, occasionally, lectures by some person connected with the grade 
(either a parent or a teacher) who is an expert in some field, such 
as a neurologist, a librarian, and so on. Third, meetings for the 
purpose of taking up some problem which is particularly import- 
ant to a specific group of children in the school, which is not neces- 
sarily a problem in general child psychology. This type of meet- 

08 From a report to the Yearbook Committee from the headmaster of 
the school. 


ing also includes becoming better acquainted with the school and 
learning what its plan of work is. At this meeting frequently the 
parents will listen to an outline of a course of study for the entire 
year in a subject such as mathematics, dramatics, or music. 

Most of the work is done through small grade groups, each of 
which meets on an average of five or six times a year. In addition 
to this there are three large meetings of the association as a whole. 
One is held at the beginning of the year, in which the grade groups 
are organized, and plans of study and programs for the year are 
decided upon. At this meeting the headmaster usually gives a 
short talk on the principles of the school, and the need of the school 
for kelp from the Parents Association in better understanding of 
the children and the school. There is one meeting in the middle of 
the year in which some prominent person speaks. In the spring 
the executive committee calls a meeting of the heads of each of the 
grade groups. Each grade chairman is required to report very 
fully on the work which his or her grade has done that year. The 
chairmen are than quizzed on their reports, and recommendations 
are made. This meeting, calling to account the grade chairmen, 
has done a tremendous amount of good. 

In addition to these meetings, the mothers and fathers take 
part in the life of the school vitally. A committee of mothers acts 
as hostesses. Two members come each day to the school office and 
receive guests. It is the business of this committee to acquaint 
itself with the running machinery of the school and to understand 
thoroughly the principles which are back of the school. One 
mother is on duty in the office, the other is visiting the school's 
various departments to learn more intimately about it. Other 
committees take definite responsibilities in the library, the lunch 
room, in costume making, and so forth. 

11. Nursery Schools 

Directors of nursery schools and others interested in the nursery 
school movement maintain that the organization of a nursery school 
is not justifiable unless accompanied by a program for the educa- 
tion of the parents of the children 1 enrolled in the school. This 
thesis is held because of the necessity of integration and continuity 
in the education of young children. Both teachers and parents 
need to interchange information in order that each may have a 


complete picture of the child's life during the twenty-four hours 
of each day. Furthermore, in order that the child may develop a 
wholesome personality there should be a minimal amount of chang- 
ing demands and different standards for his hehavior. Unless 
school and home cooperate, the child may be led to build up two 
separate groups of behavior habits, each suited to the standards re- 
quired. Teachers and parents must each adjust in order to work 
out routine programs and standards of behavior in home and 
nursery school which have continuity and supplement each other. 

The nursery school affords a number of splendid opportunities 
for parental education. It may become, under proper guidance, a 
laboratory in which parents may study their own children ob- 
jectively and comparatively 

Because of the underlying philosophy and the opportunities 
which the nursery school offers, there are few nursery schools that 
do not consider the education of parents as an integral part of their 
program. These may range from a restricted program for the 
small group of parents associated with the school to a compre- 
hensive organization that by various methods serves a large number 
of people interested in the welfare of children for an almost un- 
limited territory. 

Besides the formal lectures or discussion groups supplemented 
by bibliographies and library facilities which are the usual pro- 
cedure, other opportunities are offered for parental education, such 
as interviews and consultations with the various staff members, 
directed observation of children in school and home, cooperation 
with records of habits, activities, and development of children, and 
assistance of the mother in the school. 68 

The nursery school may also serve as a means of training leaders 
for parent groups, for it gives opportunity to study the problems 
arising out of the parent-child relationship ; to observe, under di- 
rection, the development of children, and to gain experience in 
meeting the problems of organization and direction of discussion 
groups for parents by participating in, and observing, parents' 
classes. At several centers where courses in parental education are 
offered, the nursery-school experience is required. A number of 

** A more complete discussion will be found in ' The nursery school as a 
center for parent education/' Lois Hayden Meek. Childhood Education, Jan- 
uary, 1928. 


centers even make this a requisite in a more or less limited degree, 
for the training of the volunteer, lay, or non-professional leaders 
of parents' classes. 

Since Chapter VIII of the Yearbook is devoted to a discussion 
of nursery schools, only one detailed report of the parental educa- 
tion work in a specific nursery school will be given here. The re- 
ports of the fourteen nursery schools in Chapter VIII show very 
plainly that the education of parents is a phase of their program 
no less important than the education of the children themselves. 
Indeed, indirectly it is a part of the latter. 

Reference is here given to discussions of parental education 
work in nursery schools which appear in other sections of the 

a. Nursery ScJiools in Centers of Research. The centers for 
research in child welfare have all established nursery schools. 
These centers are developing intensive programs for the parents 
of the children in the nursery schools. For a discussion of this 
work, see the second section of this chapter (especially Merrill- 
Palmer School). Also in Chapter VEII reports are given of the 
parental education done in the nursery schools of University of 
Iowa, Teachers College, Columbia University, Yale Guidance 
Nursery, and Merrill-Palmer School. 

&. Assisting Mothers. In several places groups of children 
have been organized by mothers in order to give their children bet- 
ter play facilities and in order that they themselves might learn 
more about children. 

In such nursery-school experiments the mothers are usually 
active participants in the daily routine of the nursery-school pro- 
gram. The -Cambridge Nursery School, the Smith College Coop- 
erative Nursery School, and the Chicago Cooperative Nursery 
School are such organizations. 

One other experiment of this type is the Children's Community 
at Berkeley, California. A group of women, members of the Amer- 
ican Association of University Women, had been studying preschool 
education for several years together. With the opening of the 
Institute for Child Study and Parent Education at the University 
of California they were ready for more advanced work. Under 
the guidance of the Institute they continued their study and or- 
ganized a playgroup for their children. This "Children's Com- 


munity," as It was called, became a laboratory not only for study 
but also for trying some of the theories and methods which had 
been discussed. It gave them an opportunity for learning through 
practice. The plans for the community were made by the parents 
with the advice of the institute. The work of selecting a site, se- 
curing equipment and materials, indeed all the actual executing of 
the project, was done by the parents The institute paid the salary 
of a trained nursery-school teacher for one year. This enabled the 
mothers to have expert guidance at first. Beginning in the fall 
of 1928 the mothers are to carry full responsibility. 

c. Work in Settlement Districts. The giving of proper care to 
preschool children of working mothers has been found to be a very- 
real problem. Many social measures are being tried to improve 
home conditions and home care of these children. Better housing, 64 
mothers' pensions, the probation systems in court, and day nurser- 
ies 65 are some of the most outstanding. More recently, however, 
there is a growing tendency towards establishing nursery schools 
as centers for parent and child education. 

However, it is one thing to give the children a healthful educa- 
tive environment during the hours they are in the nursery school 
and quite another thing so to educate their parents that this regime 
will be carried over into the home. To further parental education 
with mothers who work all day in a factory and carry home re- 
sponsibilities in the early mornings and evenings is a challenging 
problem. The reports of the Gowan and Samantha Hanna Nursery 
Schools in Cleveland, the Boston Training School, and the Mary 
Crane Nursery School in Chicago, give encouraging evidence that 
it can be done. The adaptation of usual methods of parent educa- 
tion to their specific situations are significant. 

d. Cornell Nursery School The nursery school of the New 
York State College of Home Economics at Cornell University 66 has 
not been reported elsewhere in the Yearbook. A survey of the 
work they are doing in parental education will be found to be 
similar to the work in other well-equipped nursery schools. The 
resident parent education may be considered under three groups: 
conferences, observation, and records. 

" See Ch. HI. 

65 See Ch. "V for a discussion of social conditions due to employment of 
mothers in industry and the relation of the day nursery to this situation. 
M For a discussion of the preparental program at Cornell, see Oh. XI. 


(1) -Conferences: When the child is enrolled in the nursery 
school, there are initial interviews with parents. These are held 
by the physician, nutritionist, psychologist, and teaching staff. 
This gives the staff: valuable information about the child, his home, 
and his family. It also brings to the surface the problems of the 
parent in child guidance. On the basis of these interviews tenta- 
tive recommendations are made. Further conferences about these 
problems and recommendations are arranged frequently until there 
is solution. 

Daily conferences with parents are possible when the child is 
brought to the nursery school in the morning and called for in the 
afternoon. Parent meetings for both fathers and mothers are held 
once a month when problems of a general nature are taken up and 
discussed. The nursery school has served also, to the greatest extent 
possible with its present staff, somewhat informally as a clinic 
center where parents other than those enrolled may bring their 

(2) Observation: Each father and mother has spent full days 
in the nursery school observing their child, his behavior, and 
his guidance by experts. Conferences have followed these obser- 

(3) Records: Daily and periodical records have been kept by 
the parents throughout the year, giving the staff information about 
the child's food, rest, play, elimination, disturbances of any sort, 
etc. Daily records have been kept by the staff on these same mat- 
ters and sent to the home daily. This mutual give-and-take of 
records makes conferences with parents concrete and to the point, 
with the result that both home and school better meet the child's 
needs. 67 

12. Social Agencies 

In certain communities parental education has been furthered 
by social rather than educational agencies. These agencies are 
engaged not only in programs of social relief but also in building 
better standards of living and social ideals among the children and 
adults with whom they work. Education of parents has been 
undertaken in most cases in an effort to carry into the home 
methods of child care and training similar to that given to the 

OT From a recent report to the Yearbook Committee by the director. 


children when under the supervision of the social agency. A con- 
tinuity of home, school, and community interest is but justice to 
the child and parent. 

There are other considerations that are commonly emphasized 
in the early organization of parental education programs among 
social agencies but they are secondary in importance to the objective 
of continuity in education. Such considerations are: (1) the ad- 
vantages of cooperation and coordination of this program with the 
already well-established child-welfare institutions in a community 
rather than the introduction of it as a new and independent 
project; (2) the idea of a positive, preventive, and educational 
service associated with relief, recreational, protective, or clinical 
agencies; (3) the extension of this service to all groups, whether 
dependent, delinquent, and remedial or not ; and (4) provision for 
the staff members of these various organizations to receive this 

Many in the professional group are as much in need of educa- 
tion in regard to the newer ideas of child development as are the 
parents. Thus, courses with special reference to teachers, nurses, 
social workers, directors of day nurseries, and others have been 
arranged. 68 

In several places the child-study courses were sponsored by 
groups of parents who felt that, even though their children pre- 
sented no immediate problems, the information gleaned from the 
case studies of the various social agencies might be of value as a 
preventive measure in their family and community life. Such de- 
mands were made especially from juvenile courts and child guid- 
ance clinics. 

Some of these programs are financed by the community chest 
or other civic funds, others by private subscription or by a fee 
charged for the course. A few depend entirely upon volunteer 

There are a number of these sporadic attempts that are worthy 
of detailed discussion, but in this brief survey it is necessary to 
select a few of the organizations that have prepared programs 
which may be adapted to function in most communities. These 
community agencies are attempting by united efforts "to develop 

**As by the Child Training Committee, Children's Conference of Cleve- 
land, the Parents Counei], Philadelphia, and McGill University. 


a concept of parent education through, child study as a community 
undertaking that is greater than any one organization's capacity 
but dependent upon the efforts of each/' 69 

a. Hie Children's Bureau of Kansas City, ^Missouri. This 
bureau is an outgrowth of the Child Welfare Division of the Coun- 
cil of National Defence. The first examination of children from 
birth to six years of age, held in 1918 at the request of the Federal 
Children's Bureau, was a part of the program of the council. It 
revealed so many physical defects that the -Child Welfare Division 
decided to make it an annual affair. At the close of the war, when 
the council was disbanded, the work was reorganized under a 
trustee board with the present name. It is the volunteer service of 
the members of civic, social, and educational organizations of the 
city that makes possible the continuance of the work. There are 
four paid workers and about 3000 volunteers trained by the execu- 
tive secretary. The volunteers are selected by the bureau and 
classified according to the service each can render. Many have 
served the fiill term of the bureau's life. Complete physical ex- 
aminations by child specialists are open annually to every child 
under six years of age. Over 20,000 were examined in 1927-28, 
and 900 defects were corrected Well-Children's Stations are open 
to such children weekly, and much instruction in care and training 
is given their mothers. Over 1000 parents attended the classes 
on the physical care and the training of children, carried on by the 
bureau, and 600 high-school students heard a group of talks on 
preschool training. Class speakers specially trained in weekly 
sessions carry out a systematized program in these bimonthly 

ft. The Child Training Committee of Cleveland, Ohio. The 
Child Training Committee of the Children's Conference is a project 
of the Cleveland Community Chest. The Children's Conference 
is a representative group of the child welfare agencies in the city 
and works toward a coordinated program of their activities. For 
a number of years a small group realized the need for a program 
for parents and had made a number of sporadic experiments to 
demonstrate the possibilities in this field. No unified effort was 

69 Quotation from mimeographed outline, Iowa State Council of Child 
Study and Parent Education, Iowa Child Welfare Eesearch Station. 
T * Prom a report written by the Bureau for the Yearbook. 


made to promote such a program, however, until February, 1927, 
when a class was organized for the training of leaders for child- 
study groups as an extension course of the School of Applied Social 
Sciences, "Western Reserve University. 71 

The aims of the Child Training -Committee are: to supply 
leaders for groups interested in parent education, to make avail- 
able at small cost numerous pamphlets useful in group discussion, 
to develop properly qualified leaders through resources for train- 
ing available, to offer opportunities for exchange of experience on 
the part of leaders and groups, and to help coordinate efforts at 
parental education in Cleveland. 

To this end the Committee conducts discussion groups for ex- 
pectant mothers, parents of preschool and school-age children. 
These groups meet each week over a period of ten or twelve weeks. 
A series of talks, combined with discussion, is also conducted. 

The committee cooperates with Cleveland College in the courses 
in parental education by assisting in a publicity program to bring 
before the community the opportunities offered by the Division of 
Parental Education, Cleveland College, Western Reserve Univer- 
sity. Other agencies with whom the committee cooperates are the 
Red Cross Teaching Center, the Prenatal Education Committee of 
the Cleveland Health Council, Parent-Teacher Associations, church 
organizations and social service agencies. 72 

c. The Instiiute for Juvenile Research, Chicago, Illinois. 
The Institute is devoted to the study and treatment of behavior 
problems of children. It seeks to aid parents, teachers, and social 
agencies in the better understanding and development of each par- 
ticular child. The Institute for Juvenile Research, is a develop- 
ment of the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute, started under private 
auspices in 1909, to act in an advisory capacity to the Judges of 
the Juvenile Court of Cook County with the principal object of 
discovering the sources of delinquency and method of prevention. 
From this small beginning the Institute has expanded its work 
until now its services are demanded throughout the state. To-day 
the Institute furnishes full-unit staffs to cooperate with nine sep- 

71 See the fourth section of this chapter. 

Excerpts from the leaflet, Guide Posts for Child Tramwig, published by 
the Child Training Committee of Cleveland. 

"Excerpts from the Tenth Animal Meport of the Crimvnologist (July 1, 
1926- June 30, 1927). Department of Public Welfare, Springfield, Illinois. 


arate family welfare organizations in fourteen cities, with several 
down-state schools, as well as with, five different clinics in Chicago. 
The Institute renders additional services to many parts of the state 
by sending individual psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric 
social workers to give specialized help where full-unit service is 
not essential. 

The Preschool Branch of the Institute, established January, 
1926, is one of the research projects made possible by the Behavior 
Research Fund. The unit was established with the combined ob- 
jectives of service and research, carrying on its work through the 
agencies already existing in the community. 

It was hoped that this type of organization might prove suffi- 
ciently effective to encourage co-operative organization in similar 
work in other communities. The aim of the Preschool Branch is 
thus to make, through cooperative efforts, a complete personality 
study of the child, to give recommendations for the treatment of 
problems which may appear, and also to use for research the data 
thus collected. 

Though the Institute does not have an organized program of 
parental education, the education of the parent is involved in all 
its case work. In addition to constant interviews with the individ- 
ual parent members of the Institute, the staff gives many lectures to 
lay groups and assists in the planning of study programs of various 
child-study groups. 

d. Judge Baker Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts. The 
Judge Baker Foundation, organized April 1, 1917, as an independ- 
ent organization maintained by subscription, is an educational and 
charitable organization with no official connection with any other 

In the beginning 1 it was unofficially attached to the Boston Juvenile 
Court as a study department of problem children coming into that court. 
Its other purposes were to gather scientific information in regard to 
problems of children and young people, initiate and carry on research, 
and other related work. During the years of its growth it has broad- 
ened the scope, not from the court, but from various social agencies 
dealing- with young people between the ages of six and eighteen. It 
studies not only behavior problems, but those of personality and of an 
educational and vocational nature. It is also used for training of 
psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. It endeavors also to 
work with parents, helping them to understand causes of the difficulties 
which they and their children present, and methods of meeting- them, 


although it is largely a diagnostic agency passing on advice and recom- 
mendations to courts and other social agencies. One large feature of 
the work is continuous follow-up study of cases, part of which is ob- 
tained from field workers through visiting in the homes, and some by 
conferences with teachers, social workers, and other groups interested 
in the cases. 

From the beginning some research has been carried on. These deal 
with problems of child training, juvenile delinquency, mental tests, meth- 
ods of case study, and child guidance work, etc. 74 

e. Juvenile Courts. In a number of cities judges and referees 
of juvenile courts, probation officers, and others interested in juve- 
nile delinquency realized that the usual court procedure was only 
a small part of the service that a juvenile court could render to a 
community. Research and educational programs, consultation, and 
other services were necessary for the officials to deal adequately 
with, the many delinquency problems, for the community to have 
an intelligent understanding of the assistance it must give to the 
early offender for his reinstatement into society, and for both the 
officials and members of the community to carry out a preventive 

(1) Chicago made one of the first attempts to provide such a 
service in 1909 when the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute was or- 
ganized. This later developed into the Division of Criminology of 
the State Department of Public "Welfare with the Institute of Juve- 
nile Research 75 as its official agency in a preventive program. 

(2) The first judge of the Juvenile Court in Boston saw the 
valuable aid given the juvenile delinquents in Chicago and ex- 
pressed a fervent hope that Boston, too, might have this service. 
Accordingly, in 1917, the Judge Baker Foundation was incor- 
porated as a memorial and a realization of this wish.. 76 

(3) In Denver the service of the Juvenile Court was extended 
to the community through, a consultation service. This was avail- 
able to children and parents in difficulty, whether or not an offender 
of the law. Individuals from all classes of society were served. 
The first statutory attempt to make parent education a definite part 
of an educational system was in Colorado. 

T4 From a recent informal repoit to the Yearbook Committee from the 
Judge Baker Foundation. 

75 Described elsewhere under "Social Agencies, Institute of Juvenile 
Research. ' * 

"Described earlier in this chapter. 


(4) In Detroit the parental education program of the Juvenile 
Court was organized for the Mothers' Pension group. In Michi- 
gan the Mothers' Pension Law was enacted as a remedy for de- 
pendency and for the prevention of delinquency. The administra- 
tion is placed in the Juvenile Division of the Probate Court and 
delegated by the Judge of the Juvenile Court to a referee, who is 
also the Chief Probation Officer. 

There were in 1926, 1160 mothers drawing Mothers' Pension in 
Wayne County, representing every class of society from the col- 
lege graduate to the most ignorant peasant from a foreign land. 
Sixty-five percent of these families had never been dependent or 
known to any social agency prior to the death or removal of the 

The educational program for these mothers covers the entire 
scope of home life. If the mother has difficulty in handling her 
financial matters, the budget upon which her pension is based is 
explained to her. Careful instruction is given in the management 
of her property, and in the opening and using of bank accounts 
when there is insurance money to be invested. She is given instruc- 
tion in the simpler phases of child training. If expert advice is 
needed, she is referred to the Wayne County Psychopathic Clinic. 
She is helped to develop a program of recreation for herself and her 
family and is taught to watch and safeguard her own health and 
the health of her children. 

(5) At Los Angeles the referee of the Juvenile Court has super- 
vised a research and a parental education program. The study of 
case histories of adolescent girls and boys as delinquents and normal 
members of society is presented in Miriam Van Waters' Youth in 
Conflict and Parents on Probation. 77 

A group of young women, most of whom were mothers, studied 
with the referee on delinquency problems and their solutions, and 
the contribution of home, school, and communities to cause and 
cure. These women served as leaders of child-study groups in 
civic and social welfare organizations, assisted with the Conference 
on Modern Parenthood held in Los Angeles, December, 1926, and 
attempted to interpret the functions of the court and the responsi- 
bility of the community to the delinquent. 

" Youth in Conflict, New York: New Eepublic, 1925. Parents on Pro- 
bation, New York: New Republic, 1927. 


/. The Monmouth County Organization for Social Service at 
Red Bank, New Jersey. The Momnouth County Organization for 
Social Service is a private organization that is making an effort to 
coordinate all the public and private welfare agencies in the county. 

In January, 1924, the Organization enlarged its preventive and 
educational program to develop parent education in connection 
with a child-guidance clinic. This was a direct outgrowth of a 
mobile psychiatric clinic for children, which had operated in the 
county since 1921. 

This later program of the child-guidance clinic was organized 
in three divisions : the training for leadership in parental educa- 
tion, preventive work or habit clinics, and the organization of child- 
study groups for parents, teachers, and all who have contact with 
children. For the training of leaders, classes in the study of child 
development and clinical methods are given. Credit is granted by 
the School of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 
for certain classes that meet the necessary requirements. Very 
close integration of the child-study and nursing program has been 
effected. Many public health nurses have attended these classes 
and are now organizing, and in some cases directing, child-study 

For the last two years the primary aim of the parental educa- 
tion program has been to develop lay leaders who will continue the 
program without professional supervision. 

Affiliation was made with the extension department of Rutgers 
College. The -Child Study Association of America has also coop- 
erated with this program. 78 

g. Parents 9 Council of Philadelphia. The Parents' Council is 
one of the efforts to coordinate the child-welfare interests in a city 
toward a preventive program. The Council existed for a number 
of years as a volunteer organization. A group of lay men and 
women, and physicians, social workers, and educators realized the 
need for a program for parents and for the affiliation of the var- 
ious agencies interested in children. The Council, reorganized 
with a professional director and a number of trained assistants, 
launched upon the present program in October, 1926. 

78 A detailed account of this program is given in the annual reports of the 
Monmouth County Organization for Social Service. These may be secured 
from the executive secretary, Bed Bank, N. J. 


The -Council conducts child-study groups in many parts of the 
city for parents of normal families. Members are enrolled in 
groups according to their special interest in infants, preschool, 
young, or adolescent children. Individual conferences are also 
provided for members. Groups are also formed to develop leaders 
to work with affiliated organizations. 

During the past winter and spring 913 fathers and mothers have 
been members of 47 child-study groups meeting weekly or semi-monthly. 

Some of these groups have enrolled fathers and mothers registering 
together, others mothers, and a few, mothers and teachers. Of special 
interest were groups conducted for housekeepers sent by the Visiting 
Housekeepers' Bureau to substitute for mothers temporarily incapaci- 
tated, for orphanage house mothers, for day-nursery heads and other 
workers with children, and for mothers who bring children for exami- 
nation to public-health centers. 

It is significant that of these forty-seven groups, forty-three were 
initiated and organized by individuals in the community, by churches, 
synagogues, parent-teacher associations, public and private schools, 
health centers, and women's clubs who came to us for professional 

The Council as such does not educate students, but it cooperates 
with the Pennsylvania School for Social and Health Work by train- 
ing those who are already experienced in social work for study- 
group leadership. All groups are led only by professionally 
trained leaders, who, while they are working, meet regularly with 
the Pennsylvania School staff to discuss personality and home re- 
lationship problems. 

Jt. The Women's Cooperative Alliance. The Women's Coop- 
erative Alliance was organized by a group of women's organiza- 
tions in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1914, for the purpose of secur- 
ing protection for children and young people in matters affecting 
public morals. The Alliance is unique in that it devotes practically 
all of its efforts to the education of mothers in the methods of edu- 
cating their own children in matters pertaining to sex. It also 
includes the related subjects of protective measures for women 
and children and supervised recreation and health. 

The Alliance has been quite persistent in its stand that informa- 
tion on sex education should be given to parents, who in turn 
should give it to the children. 

"Director's Report, Parent's Council of Philadelphia, year ending April 
30, 1928. 


The Department of Parent Education provides for early sex edu- 
cation in the home with parents as teachers. It aims to develop or en- 
courage wholesome attitudes toward the consideration of family rela- 
tionships; to anticipate normal curiosity; and to prevent unwholesome 
experimentation among children. It furnishes facts concerning sex 
social relationships to parents for children, and gives special emphasis 
to the graded subject materials, methods, and techniques of using them. 8 * 

In the last few years emphasis has been placed upon work with 
.mothers of children from preschool up to junior-high-school years. 
Parent advisers go from house to house in a given district making 
contacts with mothers, discussing with them the need for sex edu- 
cation, and leaving behind pertinent pamphlets and leaflets. Later 
visits are made to follow up this individual education and to en- 
courage the mothers to join groups for study and discussion. 

Lectures and courses in social hygiene are given to groups or- 
ganized by other agencies. 81 

The agencies given consideration heretofore in this discussion 
have initiated or sponsored parental education programs that have 
emphasized the preventive aspects of child life. There are, however, 
a number of agencies that are purposefully organized to assist the 
parent and the child in a remedial program, such as the child guid- 
ance clinics, the visiting teacher program, and the public health 
organizations. This does not imply, however, that the activities 
of these agencies are restricted to a remedial program only. 

13. Child Guidance Clinics and the Visiting Teacher Program 

The child-guidance clinic and the visiting teacher are two 
agencies which, have been established in order to serve families 
where children have had difficulties in making adjustments. A 
rather comprehensive discussion of the clinic as a means for re- 
education of children and parents is given in Chapter VII. 

a. Child-Guidance Clinic. Demonstrations of child-guidance 
clinics and of visiting teachers have .been conducted in a number of 
cities in the United States under the direction of the Joint Com- 

90 Description of the Program of Early Sex Education in the Home, Dept. 
of Parent Education of the "Women's Cooperative Alliance, by Catheryne 
Coofce Gilman. Women's Cooperative Alliance, Inc., 212 Citizens Building, 
Minneapolis, "Mirm, 

81 For a full account of the program, see leference in footnote 80. 


mittee for the Prevention of Delinquency of the National Commit- 
tee for Mental Hygiene. 82 

Community child-guidance clinics have been established as one 
of the agencies in the social welfare program in a number of cities. 
These function through the school, juvenile court, orphanages, and 
other child-welfare agencies in the city and are financed by public 
and private funds. In Illinois through the Institute of Juvenile 
Research a number of community clinics have been organized as 
branches of the Institute in several cities. 

These clinics use the individual and consultation method in 
working with parents rather than the group-discussion method. A 
series of public lectures may be given by the specialists of the clinic. 
In a number of cities an organized course of study for parents de- 
veloped as a result of a child-guidance clinic in the community. 
The stimulus for these courses oftentimes comes from the parents 
whose children were not referred to the clinic but who realised that 
the clinic had a wealth of material, which, when interpreted, would 
be most helpful to parents. Whether or not they had an immediate 
problem, it might serve to avoid a crisis later in their life. 

In the field of mental hygiene, as in other phases of child de- 
velopment, there is a need for further means of study and research 
and adequate facilities for training. In order that such a service 
might be rendered, the Institute for Child Guidance, New York 
City, was reorganized to replace the Bureau of Child Guidance, 
July 1, 1927. Its program is outlined briefly as follows : 

"To make possible further study and research in the field of 
mental hygiene for children; to provide clinical facilities for the 
training of psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric social 
workers in practical child-guidance work; and to offer additional 
clinical facilities for the thorough study and treatment of children 
presenting problems in behavior." 83 

&. The Visiting Teacher. The visiting teacher program is an 
effort to reach the children whose school progress or behavior under 
normal requirements points toward inefficiency, delinquency, 

82 Eighth Annual Report, Commonwealth Fund, 1926, pp. 33-40 (1 East 
57th. Street, New York City). 

"For further discussion, see 1926-1927 Annual Report of the Common- 
wealth Fund. 


or other types of personal or social mal-adjustment. 84 It is the 
visiting teacher's responsibility to study such children, to study 
the provisions of home, school, and neighborhood in an effort to set 
up a program for reeducation of the child. This usually means 
close cooperation with parents and a parental education program. 
The work with parents is done through personal contacts and visits 
to the home. 

"In the homes the visiting teacher frequently assumes the role 
of interpreter, explaining away misunderstanding about school re- 
quirements, interpreting the school's aims and demands and the 
child's needs. When these are realized, the parents give their co- 
operation to the school with a quickened sense of responsibility and 
a clearer vision of their duty. Many times the visiting teacher finds 
herself faced with the task of giving, in the simplest possible form, 
lessons in habit-formation and child psychology. She has fre- 
quently to interpret to the children the attitude of their conserva- 
tive parents." 85 

Three-year demonstrations of visiting teaching have been con- 
ducted by the Commonwealth Fund in thirty communities located 
in twenty-three states of the Union. 

14. Health Agencies 

The public health programs initiated by public and private or- 
ganizations, national, federal, state, county, and city, offer remedial 
and educational services to children and adults, particularly to 
parents as individuals and as members of the community. The 
major interest of the health agencies was originally remedial. Later, 
as the program expanded, a preventive or educational service was 
evolved and as great an effort was put forth to keep the well babies 
healthy as to cure those that were ill and defective. Maternity and 
infant welfare centers and their activities in the education of 
parents are treated in Chapter VI. Health clinics are discussed in 
Chapter VII. 

For some time the directors of health-education programs have 
realized the limitations of their activities in considering the physical 

* For description of the visiting teacher woik, see The Problem Child in 
School, by Mary Sayles. New York: Joint Committee on Methods of Pre- 
venting Delinquency, pp. 253-280. 

"From The Visvtvng Teacher, by Jane F. Culbert, Joint Committee on 
Methods of Preventing Delinquency. 


care of the child only, and have seen the need for the correlation 
of the physical with the mental, emotional, and social developments 
of the child. Moreover, many health-education programs are be- 
ginning to stress the part parents play in the teaching of health 
habits. A few of the efforts to incorporate a complete picture of the 
development of the child and to emphasize the education of the 
parent in a public health program are here mentioned briefly. 
a. Federal Public Health Agencies. 

(1) The United States Public Health Service. 86 The Child 
Hygiene Office of the United States Public Health Service has a 
series of letters of advice to expectant mothers which are sent free 
of cost to any person desiring information of this character. A 
mailing list is maintained in the office, and letters are sent, one each 
month, calling attention to particular precautions to be taken at the 
different stages of pregnancy. The information contained in these 
letters is intended to supplement the advice of the family physician. 
During the past year an average of between eight and nine hundred 
letters was sent out each month, and more than ten thousand were 
sent during the year. 

The Office writes a personal letter in answer to questions relating 
to special problems in childhood. A booklet on the care of the 
baby, literature relating to the nutrition of children, diseases com- 
mon in childhood, and information on sex hygiene are also 

(2) The United States Children's Bureau. 87 With the passing 
of the act for the promotion of the welfare and hygiene of maternity 
and infancy, popularly known as the Sheppard-Towner Act, in 
1921, the most extensive program ever arranged for the education 
of parents in the scientific care of children was inaugurated. The 
administration of this program was given to the Children's Bureau 
of the United States Department of Labor in cooperation with the 
Bureaus of Child Hygiene organized in each state under the pro- 
vision of the acts. 

Though the development of the program in each state was left 
largely to the state agency directing the work within the state, the 

M Report to the Yearbook Committee from the United States Public Health 

** The data for this report and the report on State Bureaus of Child 
Hygiene was supplied by the Children's Bureau and "by Children's Bureau 
Publications Nos. 178 and 186. 


Children's Bureau made a special effort to see that its services were 
made available to the people of the smaller cities, towns, villages, 
and the rural districts. The larger cities usually have well- 
developed health departments that function separately from the 
state department. The need for the extension of maternity and 
infancy work to the less populous districts was apparent 

The Federal staff acts in an advisory capacity to the states if 
requested to do so. In several instances members of the Federal 
staff have spent a number of months in a state, making surveys, 
conducting child health conferences, assisting in setting up a 
demonstration center, and directing special classes for mothers, 
inidwives, physicians, and other public health workers. 

One of the most valuable services the Federal and State Bureaus 
have made is the preparation and the dissemination of literature 
on phases of infant care and hygiene, child care and management, 
maternal care, and the fundamental features of the work. 

The Children's Bureau also is conducting research on various 
phases of child hygiene, such as rickets, breast feeding, status of 
maternal mortality, standards of prenatal care, and related subjects. 

The appropriation which provided for federal aid to the states 
was originally for a five-year period. Congress in 1927 authorized 
a two-year extension of the federal aid, which continues it to June 
30, 1929. 88 

&. State Pubhc Health Service. 

(1) Bureaus of Child Hygiene. Through the Bureaus of Child 
Hygiene organized in the State Departments of Public Health or 
Public Welfare 89 the Children's Bureau has been able to extend the 
services provided by the Sheppard-Towner Act to parents in all 
parts of the United States, although the benefits of this act were 
only available to the states in which the state legislature made 
possible its acceptance by the appropriation of state funds to match 
federal funds and designated or authorized for the creation of a 
state agency to cooperate with the Children's Bureau. At the close 

**For further discussion of this program and the text of the law, see the 
annual reports of the Administration of the Act of Congress of November 23, 
1921. (Publications No. 137, No. 145, No. 156, No. 178, and No. 186, Chil- 
dren's Bureau.) 

89 Colorado and Iowa are the only exceptions. In these states, the State 
Departments of Public Instruction, and the Extension Service of the State 
University, respectively, direct the program. 


of the fiscal year, June 30, 1927, all states except three Con- 
necticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts were cooperating. 

The act leaves to the individual states the initiation and carrying 
out of their own plans of work as well as the appointment of per- 
sonnel. The state plans must be approved by the Federal Board of 
Maternity and Infant Hygiene 90 if they are reasonably appropriate 
and adequate to carry out the purposes of the act 

The work is directed mainly to the physical care of expectant 
mothers and infants, but it has been a fact well-reeognized by the 
administrators of the work, both in the Children's Bureau and in 
the states, that good hygiene can not be carried forward without 
attention to habit-training and to the management of children. 
Consequently, all educational work to further the welfare and 
hygiene of infants and preschool children has included instruction 
to parents in child guidance, as well as in the best physical develop- 
ment of children. 

Early in the work much of the parent training was through the 
medium of individual conferences with mothers by physicians, 
dentists, nurses, nutrition workers, and others. Later, there has 
been a growing tendency to include training of parents through 
adult classes. During the fiscal year which closed June 30, 1927, 
classes in which women were taught maternal, infant, and child 
care, including child management, and formation of habits, were 
conducted in twenty-seven states. The total number of classes re- 
ported organized was 1196; the number of lessons in the course 
varied from three to twenty-four. There were enrolled 26,356 
women, mostly mothers, and 19,998 women were reported as com- 
pleting the courses, Indiana led in the number of classes organ- 
ized 220, with an enrollment of 9749 women, of whom 9665 com- 
pleted a course of five lessons. The states reporting such courses 
were Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, 
Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, 
Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, 
Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, 
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

Similar instruction in infant and child care was given during 
the same year to girls about ten to fifteen years of age in twenty- 

80 The members of this Board are the Chief of the Children's Bureau, the 
Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, and the United 
States Commissioner of Education. 


seven states and the Territory of Hawaii. The total number of 
classes reported organized was 1999. There were 22,191 girls 
enrolled, and 18,136 girls completed courses, usually of ten to 
twelve lessons. This instruction covered the care of the baby and 
preschool child, which included regulation of his habits. 

Instruction in prenatal and infant care was given to women 
through correspondence courses by four states: Minnesota, Vir- 
ginia, Washington, and West Virginia. In three of these states the 
lessons were corrected and returned. Prenatal letters were used 
as a medium of instruction for expectant mothers in the essentials 
of care and hygiene of pregnancy by 22 states. 91 

(2) Colorado State Psychopathic Hospital, An innovation in 
the service that a state hospital may render to an educational pro- 
gram has been developed at the Colorado State Psychopathic Hos- 
pital. For the past few years this hospital has offered a course on 
childhood psych op athology. This was organized chiefly for the 
relatives of the patients, but the members are about half teachers 
and parents. Besides meeting the need for which it was intended, 
it has resulted in referring to the clinics a large number of children 
who otherwise would not be considered for treatment. 

c. County Public Health Service. The Public Health -Center 
of Alameda County in Oakland, California, endeavors to present 
various aspects of child life in its program for positive health. This 
organization in cooperation with the Parent-Teacher Association 
arranged for the first parental education conference on the western 
coast and assisted in the organization of the child-study groups that 
were conducted by the Bureau of Child Study and Parent Educa- 
tion of the California State Department of Education during its 
early development and is one of the chief factors for the continu- 
ance and expansion of this program in the county * 2 

The Monmouth County Organization of Social Service 83 has 
incorporated the various aspects of child development into the 
health service. The program for parental education is closely asso- 
ciated with, the services of the school nurses. 

81 For the text of the law, a detailed discussion of the administration of 
this act in forty-five states and the Territory of Hawaii, and some results of five 
years of work under the Act, see report of the Administration of the Act of 
Congress of November 23, 1921, for fiscal year June 30, 1927. (Children's 
Bureau Publication No. 186, United States Department of Labor.) 

92 See this chapter^ under discussion of "State Department of Education." 

M See in this chapter, ' e Social Agencies. ' ' 


d. City Public Health Service. Health organizations m a num- 
ber of cities have either added specialists to their staff or are co- 
operating with educational and welfare organizations that may 
supply the service of specialists in other phases of child develop- 
ment than physical. Thus many remedial and preventive health 
clinics are able to give the parent an analysis of the child's de- 
velopment in its many phases. 

In Chicago, the Infant Welfare Society cooperates with the 
Institute of Juvenile Research, the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial 
Fund, and other welfare agencies in a well-rounded service. In a 
similar manner the Infant Welfare Society in Minneapolis co- 
operates with the Institute for Child Welfare at the State Uni- 
versity of Minnesota. In Cleveland the Child Training Committee 
of the Children's Conference has been associated with the Health 
Council. "The Committee has furnished to the Prenatal Educa- 
tion Committee of the Health Council a leader for eighty-six 
classes, each of two to fifteen members. This is the most interesting 
piece of work in which we have cooperated and surely furnishes the 
best opportunity for preventive work. About 86 percent of the 
registrants have been women with first babies. Each mother comes 
to class six times ; three discussions are given to health and three 
to mental health of the mother and the psychological development 
of the baby.' > 94 

In Philadelphia the health agencies have cooperated with the 
Parents Council in the organization of study groups. 

f e. The Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund. This Fund is a 
private agency in Chicago, which carries on a program of parental 
education as part of its work of improving the conditions of child 
life. There are six divisions of work of which this parental educa- 
tion is the major part : (1) nutrition classes, (2) health supervision 
of families of pensioned mothers and groups under regular super- 
vision of the United Charities, (3) health education in schools, 
(4) nursery schools, (5) health education in the Michael Reese Hos- 
pital and Dispensary, and (6) parent classes not associated with 
children under supervision. 

i. Parent groups associated with nutrition classes have been car- 
ried on sjnce lojcp The work was undertaken in an effort to overcome 
malnutrition among" children, and instruction to parents on child care was 

** Quotation from recent report of the Child Training Committee. 


therefore an important phase from the beginning. The work with par- 
ents in this division includes both individual instruction by the examin- 
ing physician and nutrition worker and group instruction at the regular 
meetings. These occur weekly. An extension of this work in certain 
centers has included the organization of classes on cooking and child 
feeding, organized m cooperation with the home economics departments 
of the centers in which the classes meet. 

2. Health supervision of children of pensioned mothers and fami- 
lies under the direction of the United Charities was organized in 1920. 
Parental training played a small part in this work at the beginning, but 
has gradually evolved into a most important part of the program. The 
instruction here is also individual and group. The group instruction oc- 
curs at the regular meetings which are held monthly. The objective in 
this work is not to deal merely with a physical defect or a condition of 
poor nutrition but to provide supervision for the entire family group; 
therefore the parental instruction deals with medical supervision, family 
program, and home control necessary to produce this. 

3. Health education in certain Chicago schools was organized by 
the Fund in 1924. Periodic parent meetings have been made a part of 
this work from the beginning, but a regular organized parent group 
for instruction was started in the fall of 1927. The parent groups have 
been organized around the kindergarten and primary grades, and the 
health and nutrition of the young child has been the subject of the les- 
sons. The meetings have occurred every two weeks. 

4. In connection with the physical care of the children in the Frank- 
lin Nursery School, the Fund has carried on, since the fall of 1926, 
parental instruction through individual monthly conferences and through 
three or four group meetings during the year. Special emphasis in the 
work has been placed upon the individual conference at which the 
pediatrician, the nutrition worker, and the educational director confer 
with the mother on specific problems relating to physical care and 
home control. 

5. Health education in the Michael Reese Hospital and Dispensary- 
was started by the Fund in April, 1928. From the beginning, the pro- 
gram included instruction of an organized group of those parents whose 
children were kept for a long period in the children's hospital. The 
size of the group has varied from eight to fifty, with a stable group of 
eight to ten. The lessons have included physical care, home manage- 
ment, and child training, and the professional staff associated with the 
pediatric and psychiatric departments of the hospital has been drawn 
upon for leadership. 

6. Classes for parent instruction have also been organized at the 
request of certain communities which have not been associated with 
child-health supervision. These have included groups organized in con- 
nection with schools, clubs, and settlement houses and special study 
circles. The number of lessons has varied according to the group; a 


few had a series of only three or four meetings; others organized for 
a series of twelve to fifteen meetings. Subject matter has included 
health, nutrition, play, home control. The majority of the groups has 
been organized around the needs of a particular age group. 

7. Another service conducted by the Fund, which does not come 
within the scope of classes, includes the preparation of teaching ma- 
terial, which is being used more and more by parent groups. 

8 The child-welfare library is also available to leaders and mem- 
bers of parental educational groups anywhere in the United States. 
Upon request, the library prepares bibliographies on any child welfare 
topic. A total of 766 child welfare bibliographies was sent out during 
the period 1927-28 to 41 states and 12 foreign countries Most of these 
were requested by parents or by teachers or students of child training 
courses. Loan packages have also been sent upon request. A total of 
226 packages was sent to 23 states during 1927-28. 

14. Beligious Agencies 

A number of religious organizations realized the possibilities for 
further service in the promotion of parents' classes in child study. 
Oftentimes the attempts to introduce these courses in a program 
of religious education were sporadic. In a few cases the plan was 
endorsed by church conferences and national religious organiza- 
tions, as the General Sunday School Board of the Methodist Church 
South, the Relief Society of the -Church of the Latter Day Saints, 
and the National Young Women's Christian Association. In the 
two former cases study materials have been arranged, courses out- 
lined, groups organized, and provision made for the training of 
discussion leaders for these groups. 

The National Young Women's Christian Association appointed 
a special group known as the * ' Commission on the Problems in the 
Family Life of To-day, ' ' to study the possibilities for such a pro- 
gram for their members. The preliminary report consists of a 
tentative discussion, outlines, and bibliographies of family problems. 

In a number of churches groups of young parents, usually as 
members of the Sunday school, have selected for the subjects of 
their discussions problems in child development and family rela- 
tionships In Boston, Cleveland, Ames, Iowa, and elsewhere, pro- 
fessors of psychology and sociology have been solicited to conduct 
these discussion groups. In some cases the leaders received re- 
muneration. Many of these courses were short units, such as 
twenty-six Sundays, or six forums; others were continuous. At 


Logan, Utah, a group of parents have met as a Sunday school 
class for the last five years. This group has made a detailed analysis 
of the objectives of the home and formulated a program for the 
sharing of family responsibilities. The time and financial schedules 
have been followed successfully in a large number of families, not 
only in the local community but in the state. 95 

In a number of cities the church served as a nucleus for the 
organization of a lecture course or child-study class. The Mt. 
Pleasant Congregational Church at Washington, D. C., sponsored 
a course of lectures on child guidance, and the Methodist -Church 
at Evanston, Illinois, a discussion group for mothers of preschool 
children, under the guidance of a director of the National Kinder- 
garten and Elementary College. 

Where a community project in child study and parental educa- 
tion is being promoted, one often finds the religious organizations 
one of the cooperative agencies, as in Philadelphia through the 
Parents Council and in Cleveland through the Child Training Com- 
mittee. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the parents' classes in the Methodist 
Church South have cooperated with the Mothercraft program in 
the public schools of that city. 98 


The movement for parental education is a popular one. The 
demand by parents for information and guidance and the interest 
of specialists from varied fields are rapidly developing parental 
education programs throughout the United States. The survey 
which has been given indicates something of the variety of pro- 
grams and the spread of interest which the movement includes. The 
list of agencies conducting programs which follows, though it does 
not claim to be complete, will give some idea of the number of 
agencies at work and their geographical distribution. 

In a movement developing so rapidly it is difficult to determine 
what the outstanding characteristics are. However, a few signifi- 
cant features are evident. 

95 Richards, B. L. "How parents can educate themselves. " Children, 

w See State Department of Vocational Education, Oklahoma, elsewhere in 
this chapter. 


1. General Characteristics 

a. Coordination of Programs. There has been a very general 
effort in the child study and parental education movement to co- 
ordinate the programs of all agencies in a community which are 
interested in the welfare of children. In the establishment of 
parental education programs, whether national, state, county, or 
city, fewer attempts have been made to set up an independent unit 
than are usual in the promotion of a new project. Early in the de- 
velopment of the movement the leaders realized : 

1. That the program would be more effective if the presentation 
of the newer knowledge of child development were given through 
the already well-established child welfare agencies than if promoted 
by a new organization ; 

2. That any one agency is limited in the number of people it 
can reach, whereas the influence of a group of agencies may be far- 
reaching ; 

3. That unless there is a continuity of interest throughout the 
child-study programs that are presented to parents and children by 
these various agencies, very little of permanent value will be 

Various types of coordinated programs are being developed. In 
several states coordination is being worked out under the leadership 
of the state university or the state department of education. Iowa 
and California offer examples of state coordinated programs, the 
former through the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station at the 
University of Iowa, and the latter through the newly-organized 
Bureau of Child Study and Parent Education in the State Depart- 
ment of Education. 

The coordination of all agencies in a county has been ably 
demonstrated by the Monmouth County Organization for Social 
Service. A number of attempts are being made to organize a co- 
ordinated program in large cities. Cleveland and Philadelphia are 
apparently successful in the promotion of a parental education pro- 
gram through the cooperation of the educational, health, religious, 
relief, correctional, and remedial agencies in these cities. In smaller 
cities there are several attempts to bring together the various 
agencies through a council or committee on parent education. 
Wichita, Kansas, has such a plan in operation. 


&. National Council of Parental Education. Probably one of 
the most outstanding evidences of the desire of the leaders in this 
movement to effect cooperation between various groups is the estab- 
lishment of the National Council of Parental Education. This 
Council was organized in the fall of 1925. Less- than three years 
later headquarters offices were opened in New York City with a 
director and an executive secretary. The purpose of the Council 
is to further the development of the field of parental education. It 
aims to act as a clearing house, and insofar as possible attempts to 
prevent duplication and to effect affiliation between the programs 
in adult education and child welfare. 

Membership in the Council is limited to agencies developing 
parental education programs. There are three classes of member- 
ship on the basis of the contribution of the agency. 

c. Extension of Programs. Another evidence that parent edu- 
cation is becoming an integrated part of other educational pro- 
grams rather than an isolated venture is the tendency for the pro- 
grams to develop out of already established work. This has been 
done in two ways: by increasing the service already offered in 
parental education ; or by developing a new department within an 
established agency to bring together sporadic interest and promote 
a definite program. The Child Study Association of America is 
an example of the first method of meeting the increasing demand 
for parent education. Among the organizations that have de- 
veloped programs according to the second plan are the American 
Association of University Women (by the appointment of an edu- 
cational secretary to direct the child-study program) , the American 
Home Economics Association (by provision for a field worker in 
child study and parental education), and a number of universities 
(by the establishment of centers of child welfare research). 

d. Conferences. The list of conferences on child study and 
parental education which are included in this chapter 97 show how 
widespread has been the interest in the movement, especially dur- 
ing the last five years. These conferences were sponsored by vari- 
ous national, state, and local organizations, but were made possible 
only through the cooperative efforts of specialists and organizations 
interested in the welfare of children. 

1 See pages 346-350. 


Besides the conferences entirely devoted to child study and 
parental education, there have been a large number of professional 
meetings which have given a place on their program to child study 
and parental education. This seems significant of the interest and 
cooperative service which has been given the movement during its 
formative period. 

2. Common Problems 

a. Exploitation. The fact that the demand for parental educa- 
tion has not been the result of slow growth but has been a sudden 
awakening to an age-old need, is the source of many problems. 
As is usual in the initiation of a new movement there is danger of 
exploitation and overdevelopment due to overenthusiasm, lack of 
leadership, and the promotion of the project for selfish purposes. 
In order that parents shall not be exploited, it is necessary that 
development shall not outstrip our ability to meet parental educa- 
tion needs. 

ft. Need for research. Leaders of parent groups, administra- 
tors, observers, and critics are often not sufficiently aware that 
parental education programs must be considered experimental. The 
sciences relating to child life and human behavior are not exact and 
in most phases are still in an embryonic stage. There is need for 
further research in child development. Practically nothing has 
been done of an experimental nature to evaluate methods and pro- 
cedures in study groups, content courses, and other types of 
parental education. 

Many of the directors of parental education programs and 
leaders of child-study groups are aware of these problems and are 
endeavoring to meet them. A tentative, testing, investigatory atti- 
tude towards all phases of the work is the only safeguard and in- 
surance for the improvement and development of the movement. 

c. Leadership. 9 * Probably the most important problem for all 
agencies in parental education to-day is the selection of leaders. 
Upon the wisdom of the leader may depend the worth of the whole 
program. This is true in regard to non-professional as well as pro- 
fessional leaders. A specialist who is trained in one field must 
realize that child training is not a one-sided job, that parents need 
not medicine nor psychology nor nutrition nor hygiene nor educa- 

w For a detailed discussion of the problem of leadership, see Ch. XIV. 


tion, but an integration of all sciences and philosophy in terms of 
child development. 

No one person can be a specialist in all phases of child life, but 
he can so supplement his major field as to present to the parent 
a total picture of child life rather than a one-sided view. 

3. Financing of Programs 

Parental education programs are financed from various public 
and private funds. Federal, state, and local taxation budgets have 
contributed, whole, or in part to parental education programs as 
sponsored by a local school system, state university, teachers' col- 
lege, state department of education, or the extension service of the 
state colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts. Contributions from 
private sources have been secured from national or local philan- 
thropic organizations and foundations, community chest funds, 
subscriptions from individuals, and membership fees. 

The public and private funds that may be considered as possi- 
bilities for assistance in the financing of parental education pro- 
grams are those that are devoted to, or related to, the welfare of 
women and children, specific or general. The public funds that 
have already contributed in whole or in part to these various pro- 
grams in the United States are : the Smith-Lever Fund, as a part 
of the extension service of the state colleges of agriculture and me- 
chanic arts ,* the Smith-Hughes Fund, as a part of the program of 
Vocational Education, supervised by the state departments of edu- 
cation; the Sheppard-Towner Fund, as a part of the program of 
the Infant and Maternity Hygiene supervised by the United States 
Children's Bureau and State Department of Health; the Purnell 
Fund in its research program in home economics, supervised by a 
committee at the state college of agriculture and mechanic arts. 
Some of the private agencies that have provided grants for the 
organization or the furtherance of these projects are the Laura 
Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial 
Fund, and the Commonwealth Fund. 

4. Possibilities for Further Developments 
a. Parental Education as Part of tJie Public-School System. 
Of the various agencies promoting the parental education programs 
described in the second section of this chapter, the public school 


is probably one winch offers great possibilities for further de- 

Since the school is increasingly taking into consideration the 
total child in the total situation, it is apparent that some considera- 
tion should be given to the education of the parents. Educators are 
more and more realizing that it is function of the schools to assist 
in the integration of the personality of each child. This is possible 
only where there is a continuity of procedure in regard to the 
treatment of children in the school and in the home. "Where there 
is an atmosphere of conflict between home and school or where there 
is disagreement in demands and standards, wholesome develop- 
ment for the child is impossible. A conflict between home and 
school means a conflict within the child." 

The child-guidance clinic, the visiting teacher, and the school 
nurse are among the services for parents that already have been 
incorporated into the school system with apparent success. Bach 
of these, however, offers education to the parent in but one aspect 
of child development and serves only a small proportion of parents. 
They are also for the most part remedial programs and are con- 
cerned with problems of physical illness or of behavior. The child- 
study program as a positive and preventive measure would extend 
its services to all parents in a community, particularly to those with 
young children, and undoubtedly would prevent many problems 
from developing. 

The introduction of a parental education program into a public- 
school system may also be justified from the view of effective com- 
munity organization and extension of the services of the school 
beyond that of the day school. The part-time and evening classes, 
the use of the school for recreational and civic purposes, are ex- 
amples of such extension. 100 It is a generally accepted theory by 
those experienced with community organizations that the most 
effective method of initiating a new program into community 
activities is to have the new interest coordinated with, or incorpo- 
rated into, an already well-established institution, rather than to 
promote an entirely new and independent organization. 

99 The results of a continuous conflict in the home, school, and coinmunity 
are presented by Dr. Miriam Van "Waters, referee of the Juvenile Court of LOB 
Angeles, in Youth in Conflict. New York: New Republic, 1925. 

"A discussion of experimental programs that have been organized as a 
part of the adult education program of a public-school system is given else- 
where in this chapter with reference to California, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. 


The school already has the interest of the parents and is more 
likely to reach a larger percentage of them with the least effort than 
any other agency. The parents naturally turn to the school for 
guidance in regard to problems relating to their children. Further- 
more, the school is in constant need of interpretation to the parents. 
Since there is this mutual interest between the parent and the 
school, there is no reason why these services, together with many 
others, could not be rendered by a parental education program. 

Boards of education in many communities may be unable to 
justify the expenditure of public funds for a program that is still 
so new. As has been true of most innovations in curriculum and 
services incorporated into the school system, it has been necessary 
for private agencies or individuals to carry on the early experi- 
ments It is anticipated that parental education will be adopted 
when the methods of organization and procedures in the conduct 
of study groups are more clearly formulated and when the courses 
of study and materials are organized to meet the needs of the vari- 
ous educational, intellectual, and social levels 

The public school may then become the nucleus of the parental 
education program in the community, with the agencies interested 
in the welfare of children cooperating. The necessity for this co- 
operation should not be disregarded. A tendency on the part of 
public education to take over the movement too rapidly or to limit 
its early development would be unfortunate. The ideal combina- 
tion of private initiative, vision, and enthusiasm with scientific 
standards and stability needs to be kept in mind. It is a wholesome 
indication that parental education has been claimed by a wide 
variety of educational fields, and it is in its favor that specialists 
with many backgrounds are champions of its cause. Wherever its 
administration is taken over by any specialty, it is essential that 
there be a coordination of many points of view and methods of 

6. TecLcfier Training. However, before such a program is gen- 
erally adopted by the public schools, it will be necessary that ade- 
quate provision be made for the training of directors for these pro- 
grams 101 and for teachers with an all-round understanding of the 
child. Teachers must begin to understand and appreciate the 
physical and emotional aspects of child development equally with 

101 See Ch XIV, "Training for the Field of Parental Education. " 



the intellectual aspect* They must have the materials and know 
how to provide for a well-rounded child growth. They must realize 
and take into consideration in their teaching a twenty-four hour day 
for each child. This point of view towards child education leads 
inevitably to the education of parents A few normal schools and 
teachers colleges are beginning to provide a program of teacher 
training on this basis, "but the reorganization of teacher training 
curricula on the principle of child development has scarcely been 

Teachers in service should be encouraged to become acquainted 
with the parental education movement through reading, lectures, 
observation of children outside of school, extension courses, study 
groups, and so forth. Supervisors of elementary-school teachers 
can make a real contribution by directing the attention of their 
teachers to a movement which promises to be increasingly a part of 
modern education. 





District of 

Los Angeles 


New Haven 


University of Cahf ornia 
Federation of Women 's Clubs 
Juvenile Court 
City Schools 

Public Health Center of 

Alameda County 
State Dept. of Education 

Psychopathic Hospital 
Tale University 

American Association of 

University Women 
U. S. Dept. of Agriculture 
Federal Brd. for Vocational 


U. S. Dept. of the Interior 
American Home Economics 

U. S. Dept. of Labor 
Progressive Education 


National Congress of Par- 
ents and Teachers 
U. S. Public Health Service 


Institute of Child Welfare 
Child Welfare Department 
Dept. of Psychology and 

Educational Besearch 
Secretary of Health Edu- 

Division of Adult Educa- 
tion, Bureau of Parent 

Tale Psycho-Clinic 
Educational Office 

Bureau of Home Economics 
Home Economies Education 


Bureau of Education 
Child Development and Pa- 
rental Education 
Children's Bureau 

Department of Home 

Child Hygiene Office 

loa Nursery schools are omitted from this list, but are listed at the end of 
Ch. yTTT. Branches or subdivisions of national organizations are not listed 













Cedar Falls 
Council Bluffs 
Des Moines 
Iowa City 

Kansas City 




Ann Arbor 


State College of Agnculture 
Hyde Park Baptist Church 
Institute for Juvenile 

Elizabeth McCormick 

Memorial Fund 
Chicago Association for 

Child Study and Parental 


University of Chicago 
Public Schools 

National Kindergarten and 

Elementary College 
University of Illinois 

Iowa State College of Agri- 
culture and Mechanic Arts 

Iowa StateTeaehers College 
Public Schools 
Public Schools 
University of Iowa 

Board of Education 
University of Kansas 

Kansas State Agricultural 

Parental Education Commit- 
tee in Cooperation with 
Board of Education 

Johns Hopkins University 

Nursery Training School of 

Community Health 

Smith College 

University of Michigan 
Merrill-Palmer School 
Liggett School 
Probate Court 


Dept. of Home Economics 
Educational Department 

Minneapolis University of Minnesota 

Kansas City 



Women's Cooperative 

Infant Welfare Society of 

Children's Bureau 
University of Nebraska 
Board of Education 

Home Study Course 
Franklin Public School 

Dept. of Parental Education 

Extension Specialist in 

Child Care and Training 
Dept. of Home Economics 

Extension Specialist in 

Child Care and Training 
Extension Department 
Child Study Department 
Dept. of Parental Education 
Iowa Child Welfare Be- 

search Station 
Extension Division 
Children's Bureau 
Kansas Bureau of Child 

Dept. of Home Economics 

Psychology Dept., Child 

Mass. Dept. of Mental 

Institute for the Coordina- 
tion of Women's Interests 

School of Education 

Juvenile Division, Mother's 

Pension ISind 
Institute of Child Welfare 
Extension Specialist in 

Child Study 
Dept. of Parent Education 

Home Economics Dept. 
Dept. of Parent Education 



New Jersey 

New York 

Bed Bank 

New Brunswick 


New York City 

North Carolina 

North Dakota 

Chapel Trill 






Oklahoma City 



Monmouth County Organiza- 
tion for Social Service 
Rutgers University 
State Dept. of Education 

New York State College of 

Home Economics, Cornell 

National Council of 

Parental Education 
Teachers College, 

Columbia University 
Child Study Association of 


Institute of Child Guidance 
Children, The Magazine for 

Young Women's Christian 

United Parents ' Association 

of Greater New York 


Yassar College 
University of North 


State Dept. of Education 
Institute on Parental 

American Child Health 

University of Gmcinnati 

Western Beserve University 

and Board of Education 

Western Beserve University 

Maternity Hospital 
Children's Conference 
Ohio State University 


Public Schools 
Public Schools 
University of Oklahoma 
Public Schools 
Women's Christian 

Temperance Union 
Department of Vocational 

Public Schools 
Department of Vocational 

American Child Health 

Parents Council of 


Dept. of Child Study 

Extension Department 
Director of Child Develop- 
ment and Parental Edu- 

Child Training Department 
Extension Department 

Institute of Child Welfare 

Commission on the Family 
in the life of To-day 

Dept. of Euthenics 
Institute for Besearch in 

Social Service 
Home Economics Dept. 

Dept. of Household 

Cleveland School of 
Cleveland College, Parental 


Child Training Committee 
College of Education, 

Adult Education 
Extension Department 

Dept. of Home Economics 
Child Welfare Department 

Division of Home Economies 










Salt Lake City 






Methodist Episcopal Church, 

State Dept. of Vocational 

Utah State College 

Latter Day Saints Church 
State Board of Health 
William and Mary College 
State Agricultural College 
McGill University 
Canadian National Commit- 
tee for Mental Hygiene 
University of Toronto 


Home and Parent Teacher 

Parents Classes in Family 

Relief Society 
Bureau of Child Health 
Extension Department 
Extension Department 

Division of Parental 

St. George's School for 

Child Study 

1. List of Conferences on Preschool and Parental Education 

A.. National 


Child Development 
Committee, National 
Research Council 

Child Study Associa- 
tion of America 

(Joint Conference 
with Teachers Col- 
lege, Columbia Uni- 

International Kinder- 
garten Uniont 

Name of Conference 

First Conference on 
Research in Child 

Second Conference on 
Research in Child 

Conference on Pa- 
rental Education* 

Modern Parenthoodt 

Institute on Parental 
Education (for 
Study Group Lead- 

Institute on Parental 
Education (for 
Study Group Lead- 

Parental Education 
and the Public 

28th Annual Meetingt 
29th Annual Meetingt 
31st Annual Meetingt 
32nd Annual Meetingt 
33rd Annual Meetingt 
34th Annual Meetingt 
35th Annual Meetingt 

Oct. 23-25, 1925 

May 5-7, 1927 

Oct. 19-26, 1925 

Oct. 26-28, 1925 
Oct. 29-Nov. 7, 1925 

Jan. 17-28, 1927 

July 24-26, 1928 

May 2-6, 1921 
April 24-28, 1922 
May 5-9, 1924 
July 8-11, 1925 
May 3-7, 1926 
April 25-28, 1927 
April 16-19, 1928 

Merrill-Palmer School The Home Problems April 18-20, 1927 


National Council of Second Conference Oct. 25-28, 1926 
Parental Education 

Bronxville, N. T. 

Washington, D. 0. 

Bronxnlle, N. T. 

New York City 
New York City 

New York City 

New York City 

Detroit, Mich. 
Louisville, Ky. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Kansas City, Mo. 
New Haven, Conn. 
Grand Rapids, Mich, 

Detroit, Mich. 
Detroit, Mich. 




Nursery School Work- 
ers, Temporary As- 

National Committee 
on. Nursery Schools 

University of Minne- 
sota Institute of 
Child Welfare and 
Home Economics 

Vassar College 

Name of Conference Date 

Conference on NUTS- Feb. 26-27, 1926 
ery Schools 

Conference on Nurs- April 22-23, 1927 

ery Schools t$ 
Child Training and June 25-26, 1926 

Home Management t 

Nursery School Con- Feb. 6-7, 1928 

Washington, D. C. 

New York City 
Minneapolis, Miim. 

Pcughkeepsie, N. Y. 

Baltimore District and 
Child Study Asso- 
ciation of America 

Chicago Association 
for Child Study and 
Parent Education 

Childrens' Bureau of 
Kansas City and 
Kansas Bureau of 
Child Eesearch, 
Lawrence, Kansas 

Iowa State College, 
Home Economics Di- 

Iowa State College 
and Home Econom- 
ics Association 

Merrill-Palmer School 
and American Asso- 
ciation of Univer- 
sity Women: Mich- 
igan Division 

Mills College 

Concerning Parents Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 1926 Baltimore, Md. 

Mid- West Conference March 4-6, 1926 Chicago, HL 

on Parent Educa- 
tion t 

Mid-West Conference Feb. 16-18, 1928 Chicago, HI. 

on Character Devel- 

Mid-West Conference March 2-5, 1927 Kansas City, Mo. 

on Education for 

Home Economics Con- May 24-25, 1926 

ference for Parents 
Third Parental Edu- ftov. 8-9, 1927 

cation Conference 
Extension Program in 

Child Development 

and Parent Educa- 

Merrill-Palmer Insti- 

tute for Preschool 

Study Group Lead- 

33 1923 

Oet. 5-7, 1927 

Conference on Devel- April 5-7, 1928 
opment and Guid- 
ance of the Pre- 
school Childt 

University of North Institute on Parental Feb. 14-16, 1928 
Carolina, Dept. of Education 
Health, Dept of 
Public Welfare and 
other organizations 

Oklahoma State Board First State Mother- July 20-24, 1925 
for Vocational Edu- craft Conference 
cation and Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma 

Ames, Iowa 
Ames, Iowa 
Ames, Iowa 

Detroit, Mich. 

Mills College, Cal. 
Raleigh, N. 0. 

Norman, Okla. 




Oklahoma State Board 
for Vocational Edu- 
cation and Okla- 
homa City Council 
of Parents and 

Oklahoma State Board 
for Vocational Edu- 
cation and Txilsa 
City Schools 

Oklahoma State Dept. 
of Vocational Edu- 
cation and Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma 

Oklahoma State Dept. 
of Vocational Edu- 

Oregon State Agri- 
cultural College, 
School of Home 

Southern California 
Society for Mental 
Hygiene and 25 or- 

N<me of Conference Date 

School for Parents Feb. 21-26, 1927 

Parents' Institute Feb. 24, 1927 

State Conference on Feb. 25-26, 1927 
Child Development 
and Parent Educa- 

Adult Education Con- Sept. 30-Oet. 1, 1927 

Parental Conference May 19, 1928 

Southern California Dec. 15-18, 1926 
Conference on Mod- 
ern Parenthood! 

Oklahoma City, Okla, 

Tulsa, Okla. 
Norman, Okla. 

Oklahoma City, Okla. 
Corvallis, Ore. 

Los Angeles, Cal. 

State University of 
Iowa and Iowa Child 
Welfare Besearch 

50 Organizations of 
A lame da County, 

121 Organizations of 

State Conference on June 23-25, 1927 Iowa City, Iowa 

Child Development 

and Parent Educa- 

Second .Annual State June 20-22, 1928 Iowa City, Iowa 

Conference on Child 

Study and Parent 

The Awakening Ee- April 15-17; 24, 1926 Oakland, Cal. 

sponsibiHty of Par- 

Northwest Conference March 8-10, 1927 Minneapolis, Minn. 

on Child Health and 

Parent Education! 
Northwest Conference March 27-29, 1928 St. Paul, Minn. 

for Child Health 

and Parent Educa- 


C. Local 

Chicago Association Parent Education March 15-17, 1926 Chicago, El. 
for Child Study and One Day Conference March 5, 1927 Chicago, HI. 

Parental Education 

Child Study Assoeia- First General Confer- Nov. 6-7, 1924 New York City 

tion of America ence for Study 

Group Leaders 
Present Day Parent- May 28, 1926 Cleveland. Ohio 


One Day Conference Nov. 2, 1927 New York City 

on Parent Educa- 



Child Training Com- 
mittee of the Chil- 
dren s* Conference 
of Cleveland 

Iowa Child Welfare 
Besearch Station 
and Child Study 
Dept. of the Public 

Iowa Child Welfare 
Besearch Station 
and Parent -Teach- 
ers Association 

Oskaloosa Parent- 
Teacher Association 
and the Parent- 
Teacher Council 

Parents League of 
Brooklyn and Others 

Welfare Federation 
of Cleveland 

Name of Conference 

Fourth Annual Meet- 

Conference on Mod- 
ern Parenthood 

Conference on Parent 
Education and Child 

Conference on Parent 
Education and Child 

Two All-Day Confer- 

Oct. 18, 1927 

Cleveland, Ohio 

Fifth Annual Com- 
munity Welfare 

March 17-18, 1927 Council Bluffs, Iowa 

Feb. 17-18, 1926 
Feb. 28-29, 1927 

Feb. 17-18, 1926 

Jan. 13, 25, 1926 
Oct. 20, 1927 

Oskaloosa, Iowa 
Oskaloosa, Iowa 

Oskaloosa, Iowa 

Brooklyn, N. T. 
Lakewood, Ohio 

*An outcome of this conference was the oigamzation of the National Council of Parental 

t Proceedings of this conference have been published. 

t Meetings of the International Kindergarten Union have been held annually since 1893. 
Meetings of this oiganization listed above included discussion of children under kinder- 
garten age. 

$ At this conference the National Committee on Nursery Schools was organized. 

** Proceedings are to be published. 

2. List of National Conferences "Which Have Included Discussions 
of Preschool and Parental Education 

Name of 

American Association of University 

American Association for Organizing 

Family Social Work 
American Child Health Association 

American Home Economics Association 

American Orthopaychiatric Association 
American Psychological Association 

Date of Meeting 
April 5-8, 1922 
July 16-21, 1923 
April 21-25, 1924 
April 8-11, 1925 
March 31-Apnl 2, 1927 
Oct. 2-5, 1927 

June 28-July 6, 1923 
Oct. 15-17, 1923 
June 23-28, 1924 
May 17-22, 1926 
May 9-11, 1927 
July 30-Aug. 3, 1923 
Aug. 1-6, 1925 
June 28-July 2, 1926 
June 28-29, 1926* 
June 21-24, 1927 
June 25-29, 1928 
Feb. 24-25, 1928 
Dec. 28-30, 1926 


Kansas City, Mo. 
Portland, Ore. 
Washington, D. C. 
Indianapolis, Ind. 
Washington, D. C. 
Buffalo, K Y. 

San Francisco, Cal. 
Detroit, Mich. 
Cambridge, Mass. 
Atlantic City, N. J. 
Washington, D. C. 
Chicago, EL 
San Francisco, Cal. 
Minneapolis, MTPP. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
Ashevffle, N. C. 
Des Moines, Iowa 
New York City, N. Y. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 



Name of Organisation 
American Sociological Society- 
Association of Land-Grant Colleges and 

Department of Superintendence, National 
Education Association 

General Federation of Women's Clubs 
National Conference of Social Work 

National Congress 

of Parents and 

National Council of Kindergarten Super- 
visors and Training Teachers 
National Council of Primary Education 

National Education Association 

National Federation of Day Nurseries 

National Society for the Study of 

Progressive Education Association 

The Fif th Pan-American Child Congress, 
Eepublic of Cuba 

World Federation of Education Asso- 

Date of Meeting 
Dec 27-30, 1927 
Nov. 17-19, 1925 
Nov. 16-18, 1926 
Nov. 15-17, 1927 
Feb. 21-25, 1926 
Feb. 26-March 4, 1927 
Feb. 25-March 1, 1928 
May 28-June 7, 1928 
May 16-23, 1923 
June 10-17, 1925 
May 26-June 2, 1926 
April 23-28, 1923 
May 5-10, 1924 
April 27-May 2, 1925 
May 3-8, 1926 
June 29, 1926* 
May 21-28, 1927 
April 27-May 5, 1928 
March 1, 1927t 
February 29, 1928 1 
March 2, 1927t 
Feb. 27-28, 1928* 
June 27-July 2, 1926 
July 3-8, 1927 
July 1-6, 1928 
June 3-5, 1925 
May 5-6, 1927 
Feb 25 and 28, 1928t 

April 28-30, 1927 
March 5-10, 1928 
Dee. 8-13, 1927 

July 20-27, 1925 
Aug. 7-13, 1927 


Washington, D. C. 
Chicago, HI. 
Washington, D. C. 
Chicago, HI. 
Washington, D C. 
Dallas, Texas 
Boston, Mass. 
San Antonio, Texas 
Washington, D. C. 
Denver, Colo. 
Cleveland, Ohio 
Louisville, Ky. 
St. Paul, Minn. 
Austin, Texas 
Atlanta, Ga,. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
Oakland^ Cal. 
Cleveland, Ohio 
Dallas, Texas 
Boston, Mass. 
Dallas, Texas 
Boston, Mass. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
Seattle, Wash. 
Minneapolis, M^TI. 
Chicago, HI. 
Washington, D. C. 
Boston, Mass. 

Cleveland, Ohio 
New York City, N. T. 
Havana, Cuba 

Edinburgh, Scotland 
Toronto, Canada 

* Held in connection with the 64th Annual Meeting of the National Education Association, 
t Held in connection with the 57th Annual Convention of the Department of Supenntendence 

of the National Education Association, 
t Held in connection with the 58th Annual Convention of the Department of Superintendence 

of the National Education Association. 


i. Books 

Fisher, Dorothy Canfield. Why Stop Learning? New York : Harcourt, 
Brace, 1927. pp. 116-147. 

Forest, Use. Preschool Education. New York: Macmillan, 1927. 
pp. 263-265. 

Gesell, Arnold. The Preschool Child. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1923. 
pp. 156-164. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Concerning Parents. New York : New Repub- 
lic, 1926. pp. v-vii. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Intelligent Parenthood. Chicago : University of 
Chicago Press, 1926. pp. 1-5. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Modern Parenthood. Los Angeles: Southern 
California Society for Mental Hygiene, 1926. pp. 11-14, 89-103, 

Van Waters, Miriam, Parent Education. Minneapolis: University of 
Minnesota Press, 1927. pp. v-vi, 166-180. 

Van Waters, Miriam. Parents on Probation. New York: New Repub- 
lic, 1927. pp. 261-269. 

2. Periodicals 

Abbott, Julia Wade. "A twenty-four-hour day for the preschool child." 

Childhood Education, 1 : 1924, m-ii8. 
Alexander, Lilian M. "A year of preschool work in Georgia." Child 

Welfare Magazine, 20: 1926, 531. 
Anderson, John E. "The clientele of a parental education program." 

School and Society, 26: 1927, 178-184. 

Anderson, John E. "The state university as a training center for par- 
ents." Child Study, 4: October, 1926, 5-6. 
Andrus, Ruth. "A summer project in parental education." Child 

Study, 4 : October, 1926, 12-13. 
Andrus, Ruth. "Family relationships and organization of the home." 

Journal of the American Association of University Women, 20: 

April, 1927, 85. 
Baldwin, Bird T. "Child development." Child Welfare Magazine, 21 : 

1927, 572-573- 

Baldwin, Bird T. "The role of the child in progressive education." 
Progressive Education, 2 : 1925, 160-162. 

Baldwin, Bird T. "The state program for child study and parent edu- 
cation in Iowa." Journal of Home Economics, 18: 1926, 601-602, 

Binzel, Alma L. "Education for parenthood." Mother and Child, 
4: 1923, 16-23. 

Blanchard, Paul. "Schools for parents." The Survey, 57: 1926, 79. 

Bridgman, Ralph. "Parentcraft and research in child welfare." School 
and Society, 24: 1926, 733-734- 


Calvert, Maude R. "Parental education as a part of the public school 

program." Journal of Home Economics, 19 : 1927, 603-604. 
Canfield, Dorothy. "Bringing up parents." McCalVs Magazine, 55: 

November, 1927, 19, 105-106. 
Child Study Association. "Parental education in review." Child Study, 

4: March, 1927, 5-7. 
Eliot, Abigail. "Educating the parent through the nursery school." 

Childhood Education, 3 : 1926, 183-189. 
Foster, Mary. "Parental and preparental education in day schools." 

Journal of Home Economics, 18 : 1926, 603-604. 

Gans, Bird S. "Child study groups : methods and materials." Progress- 
ive Education, 3 : 1926, 333-337- 

Groves, Ernest R. and Gladys H. "Parenthood training." Child Wel- 
fare Magazine, 22: 1928,349-352. 
Gruenberg, Sidonie M. "Parental education its materials and methods." 

Childhood Education, 4: 1928, 223-229. 

Hansl, Eva von B. "The child has invaded the college campus." Journal 

of the American Association of University Women, 20 : 1927, 82-84. 

Hill, May. "The nursery school and parental education." The Sixth 

Yearbook of the Department of Elementary School Principals of the 

National Education Association, 6 : 1927, 145-161. 

Jenkins, Elizabeth. "The child department of a homemaking course." 

Journal of Home Economics, 16 : 1924, 88-90. 
Jones, Alma H. "A home economics extension project in child care and 

training." Journal of Home Economics, 19 : 1927, 278-280. 
Knickerbocker, Kathenne K. "Parent cooperaion at the Lincoln School " 

Progressive Education, 4: 1927, 181-185. 
Meek, Lois Hayden. "A preschool project for university women." 

Progressive Education, 2: 1925, 38-41. 
Meek, Lois Hayden. "Child study for university alumnae." Child 

Study, 4: October, 1926, 9, 13-14. 
Meek, Lois Hayden. "Child study in the preschool field." Progressive 

Education, 3 : 1926, 39-44. 
Meek, Lois Hayden. "Home economics and the education of children." 

Journal of Home Economics, 17: 1925, 694-699. 

Meek, Lois Hayden. "New ventures in education for university women." 
Journal of the American Association of University Women, 20: 
October, 1926, 17-19. 

Meek, Lois Hayden "The nursery school as a center for parental edu- 
cation." Childhood Education, 4: 1928, 217-220. 
Myers, Garry C. "Parent education." Progressive Education, 4 : 1927, 

Pilpel, Cecile. "Study groups for parents." Child Study, 4: October, 

1926, 3-4, 16, 18. 

Richardson, Anna E. "Progress in child development and parental edu- 
cation." Journal of Home Economics, ig : 1927, 562-565. 


Stolz, Herbert R. "The California Congress and research." Child Wei- 

fare Magazine, 22 : 1928, 417-418. 
Storey, Helen A. "The first conference on parenthood." Child Welfare 

Magazine, 20 : 1926, 301-304. 
Storey, Helen A. "The training of parents/' Child Study, 2. : October, 

1925, 9-10, 13-14. 
Van Alstyne, Dorothy. "The parents awake." Vassar Quarterly, 

13: December, 1927, 28-35. 
Vincent, E. Leona. "Tram mother train child." The Woman Citizen, 

10: December, 1925, 22-23, 44* 4& 
Walhn, Alice R. "Educating for parenthood." Childhood Education, 

4: 1928,234-236. 
Watson, A. E. and F. D. ''Opportunities for parental education." 

Progressive Education, 3 : 1926, 323-332. 
Webster, Elizabeth. "What mothers want." Childhood Education, 

4: 1928,237-242. 
White, Edna N. "Parental education." Journal of Home Economics, 

18: 1926, 600-601. 
White, Edna N. "The nursery school: a teacher of parents." Child 

Study, 4: October, 1926, 8-9. 
Woolley, Helen T. "Educational policies of the American Association 

of University Women past and future." Journal of the American 

Association of University Women, 19: June, 1926, 15-17. 
Woolley, Helen T. "Preschool and parental education at the Merrill- 
Palmer School." Progressive Education, 2 : 1925, 35-37. 



Preparental education frequently uses nursery schools as lab- 
oratories for students and often takes place in centers where pa- 
rental education and professional training are also going on. An 
account of the one cannot avoid reference to the others, nor can 
discussion of one remain free from some overlapping with discus- 
sions of the others. The development of preparental education has 
in many centers paralleled that of parental and nursery-school 
education, each contributing to the others, and each gaining from 
the others knowledge of teaching methods, of content for courses, 
of texts, and of administrative methods. "What follows is con- 
cerned, however, primarily with preparental education and refers 
to nursery schools only when necessary to the discussion of lab- 
oratory facilities. The discussion can be differentiated from pro- 
fessional training for child care, nursery schools, or parental edu- 
cation, by the fact that courses in preparental education are of the 
general orientation type, whereas classes for professional training 
have as objectives the specific training of advanced students for 
professional work. 

Orientation courses are at the present time ( June, 1928) being 
offered in elementary schools (most frequently in the upper ele- 
mentary grades or junior high school), in secondary schools, and 
in colleges and universities. They are given in many cases with- 
out laboratory work, but in an increasing number of cases class- 
room work is accompanied by observation or practice, or both. 
Experience is obtained with children in nursery schools, in home 
management houses, orphanages, kindergartens, juvenile courts, 
infant welfare societies, habit clinics, nutrition clinics, or day 
nurseries. Sometimes children are brought into the classroom or 
gathered together in groups by the students themselves. In other 
places students are assigned to private homes where there are chil- 
dren or to their own homes if the student has young siblings. 

1 The Committee is indebted to Dr. E. Leona Vincent of the Merrill- 
Palmer School for contributions to this chapter. 




"If by some strange chance, " wrote Herbert Spencer in What 
Knowledge Is of Most Worth, "not a vestige of us descended to the 
remote future save a pile of our school books or some college ex- 
amination papers, we may imagine how puzzled an antiquarian of 
the period would be on finding in them no indication that the 
learners were ever likely to be parents . . . 

" 'This must have been the curriculum for their celibates/ we 
may fancy him concluding. *I perceive here an elaborate prep- 
aration for many things, especially for reading the books of ex- 
tinct nations and of co-existing nations, but I find no reference 
whatever to the bringing up of children. They could not have 
been so absurd as to omit all training for this gravest of respon- 
sibilities. Evidently then, this was the school course of one of 
their monastic orders.' " 

This quotation from Herbert Spencer opens an article by Mrs. 
Eva von Bauer Hansl in the Journal of the American Association 
for University Women for January, 1922, in which the writer 
points clearly to the flagrant neglect of the subject of parenthood 
in American college curricula. She reminds us that, in spite of 
humanity's faith in its wisdom, reliance on untrained mother in- 
stinct has not prevented development of numberless social prob- 
lems, nor succeeded in developing the optimal child about which 
sociology, medicine, psychology, and education teach. 

One of the first and most enthusiastic advocates of preparental 
education writes: 

"Practically no mother has had specific preparation for the 
training and education of young children. The community has 
considered the maternal instinct entirely adequate to guide a 
woman in her dealings with young children. Now we seem to be 
finding that the maternal instinct, untrained, and in many in- 
stances united with a low level of general intelligence, gives no 
better results than any other untrained instinct." 2 

There follows in this article a discussion of the school and court 
problems which result from mistakes made by the untrained mother 
instinct, after which Mrs. Woolley goes on to say: "The remedy 

*Woolley, Helen Thompson. "Preschool Education. " The American, 
School, 8: 1922, 173-176. 


for these problems must be two-fold. We need better training 
for mothers before they undertake their task, and we need more 
adequate assistance rendered them while they are bringing up their 
young children." 

Not only have various individuals thus called attention to the 
wisdom of training mothers before they are actually faced with 
the problems of parenthood; several schools of thought likewise 
have for the past twenty years been leading in the same direction. 
Partly in response to researches in medicine, psychology, educa- 
tion, and sociology, which have made clear the possibility of de- 
veloping better human beings through wise care of children, partly 
as a result of the realization that parents have an important part 
in this care, and partly as a reflection of the spread of the Dewey 
philosophy of education which points out that the function of 
public education is to prepare its students for real life situations, 
we find a number of writers and speakers in the decade from 1915 
to 1925 expressing the idea that one of the duties of public educa- 
tion must be to train young people for parenthood. 

1. A Plea and a Prediction in 1915 

In October, 1915, Julia Lathrop, organizer and for many years 
director of the U. S. Children's Bureau, speaking before the alum- 
nae of Vassar College, expressed the wish that colleges would do 
their share in developing a more intelligent motherhood. She also 
made a prediction one which caused some merriment at the time 
among persons who lacked her clear-sightedness that the future 
would see the development of graduate departments of research 
in the affairs of the home and of child life. 

Onlyjdx years elapsed after this prediction until the Iowa 
Child Welfare Kesearch Station, established in 1917 at the State 
University of Iowa, opened its first preschool laboratory and 
thereby established such a graduate department of research. This 
was not, to be sure, primarily a station which concerned itself with 
the education of young people for parenthood, but a center .in 
which much valuable research in child development has taken 
place, and hence a station which, through the provision of ma- 
terial for teaching, has secondarily if not primarily, served the 
field of preparental education. 


2. The Merrill-Palmer School 

Almost coincidental with the establishment of the preschool 
laboratory of this first research center came the establishment of 
another center which had as its primary object the education of 
young women for motherhood. This was made possible by the 
legacy left by Mrs. Lizzie Merrill Palmer in July, 1916. 3 

Administration of details, appointment of a board of trustees 
and a board of directors, the securing of Miss Edna Noble White 
as director in February, 1920, the establishment of a cooperative 
arrangement with Michigan State College for work with students, 
delayed the final organization of the Merrill-Palmer plan for pre- 
parental study on the collegiate and university level until the 
spring months of 1921. In April, 1921, the director went to Eng- 
land to study the English nursery school plan, and there secured 
Miss Emma Henton to undertake the teaching of a nursery school 
which was to serve as -a laboratory for students in parenthood. 

In September, 1921, Mrs. Helen Thompson Woolley joined the 
Merrill-Palmer School staff as psychologist and director of the 
nursery-school project. The building which now serves as the 
main building was secured in November, 1921. The nursery 
school opened with twenty children, and classes for six students 
from Michigan State College began in January, 1922. 

In the Second Annual Report of the Merrill-Palmer Mother- 
hood and Home Training School, published in January, 1922, we 
find the following statement which is probably the first to be pub- 
lished about nursery schools as preparental laboratories : 

"We feel, therefore, that the plan [the nursery-school plan] 
offers not merely a real opportunity to young children for physical, 

'The text of the will is interesting, incorporating the following: 
"I hold profoundly the conviction that the welfare of any community is 
divinely, and hence inseparably, dependent upon the quality of its motherhood, 
and the spirit and character of its homes, and moved by this conviction, I 
hereby give, devise and bequeath all the rest, residue and remainder of my 
Estate. . . . for the founding, endowment and maintenance, in the City of 
Detroit, or in. the Township of Greenfield, County of Wayne, State of Michi- 
gan, of a school to be known as the Merrill-Palmer Motherhood and Home 
Training School, at which, upon such plan and system, and under such rules 
and regulations, as shall, in the judgment and wisdom of those upon whom 
the administration shall devolve, be adopted, girls and young women of the 
age of ten years or more shall be educated, trained, developed and disciplined 
with special reference to fitting them mentally, morally, physically and re- 
ligiously for the discharge of the functions and service of wifehood and 
motherhood, and the management, supervision, direction and inspiration of 


mental, and social development, but also an opportunity to a group 
of young women for a vital type of laboratory work in cliild psy- 
chology, child health, and nutrition." 

3. A Report of Success and a Prediction in 1923 

In a lecture before the National Conference of Social "Work 
which met in Washington, D. C., in May, 1923, Dr. Woolley dis- 
cussed the possibilities inherent in nursery schools as laboratories 
for preparental education. She described the reason for failure to 
provide training for so fundamental and important a function as 
parenthood, before the year 1922, as "in part a late recognition of 
the great permanent importance of the training and management 
given to young childhood, and in the very real difficulty in- 
herent in providing training for parenthood years before young 
people are faced with that responsibility. The difficulty thus far 
insurmountable in teaching young people still in school about the 
care and management of young children is that the topic cannot be 
taught abstractly. To teach about the care and management of 
children without any children to be cared for or managed is even 
more hopeless as an educational project than to teach physics or 
biology without a laboratory. ' ' 

That nursery schools offered such a laboratory, would provide 
at the same time not only training to students in the problems of 
care and management of children, but also a desirable environment 
for young children, and would aid in the training of individuals 
who are already parents that all three of these possibilities lay 
within the scope of the nursery school, seemed increasingly evident. 
In the same address Mrs. Woolley predicted: "Though as yet 
our courses are planned for college girls, there is no reason why 
simpler courses could not be developed for high-school and for 
continuation-school girls. Indeed, if education of this type is to 
be made available for all young women, it must be done eventually 
as part of the public-school regime." 

4. The First Continuation-School Classes in Child Care 

Within a few months after this prediction the first continuation- 
school classes in child care and training were started in the public 
schools of Detroit, using the Merrill-Palmer nursery school as a 


laboratory for observation. Classes in child care in several public 
high schools and in one private high school in Detroit, each with 
the privilege of observation in the Merrill-Palmer nursery school, 
were also established. 

In the fall of 1924, Miss Elizabeth Cleveland taught in a series 
of kindergarten training classes at Detroit Teachers College the 
material later published in the book, Training fhe Toddler. These 
classes were given an opportunity to observe in the Merrill-Palmer 
nursery school. 

5. The Establishment of a Department of Child Care in 
a High School 

In December, 1924, the Highland Park High School in High- 
land Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, established a depart- 
ment of child care and required all senior girls to take the course. 
Classes meeting once each week throughout a semester considered 
"the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of child nature and 
the environmental needs which are most suited to the development 
of a well-rounded personality. ' '* 

Two laboratory periods per week were required to be spent in 
observation and assistance in what is probably the first nursery 
school to be opened as part of a public-school system for use as a 
laboratory in high-school classes in child care. 

6. Other University Projects 

In the spring of 1923 Ohio State University began its pre- 
parental program and early in 1925 established a nursery school 
as a laboratory. 

In 1924 the University of Cincinnati established a School of 
Household Administration, including as one of the major depart- 
ments a department of child care and parenthood education, the 
purpose of which was to reach not only the college students, but 
parents in the community as welL 

In the summer of 1925 the College of Home Economies of the 
University of Nebraska, at Lincoln, Nebraska, organized a nursery 
school to serve as a laboratory for a child care and training course 

* Bulletin on the Highland Park Nursery School, published by the Board 
of Education in Highland Paik, Michigan, 1926. 


offered that summer as a major unit in home economics. This 
project was repeated in the summer of 1926 and became a perma- 
nent part of the -College of Home Economics in September, 1926. 

The OregonJJtate Agricultural College, at Corvallis, Oregon, 
offered, in the summer of 1925, a class in child care and training 
with laboratory facilities in a nursery school opened at that time 
and conducted in close cooperation with the classroom teaching. 

In February, 1926, Mills College in California opened its Child 
Study Laboratory, offering work of graduate rank 

During the summer session of 1926 the home economics depart- 
ment of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, at Auburn, Alabama, con- 
ducted a nursery school to be used as a laboratory for preparental 

Kansas State^Agricultural College also opened a nursery school 
to serve as a laboratory for courses in child care in the summer 
of 1926. 

About the same time projects were begun at Cornell University, 
Vassar -College, and Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa. 5 


Miss Lathrop 's interest in 1915 and the other forces which have 
been described earlier as influencing the development of courses in 
child care and training for preparents have found expression not 
only in the establishment of courses which use nursery schools as 
laboratories for students, but also in courses which provide for 
other types of laboratory experience. 

1. A Baby in the Home Management House 

In 1919 the Division of Home Economics of the University of 
Minnesota introduced the idea of keeping a baby in the home man- 
agement house where students were already gaining practical ex- 
perience in the problems of home management and where, through 
the care of a young child as part of their duties, they could also 
gain practical experience in the care of children. There is an ad- 
vantage in this type of laboratory experience, since the students 
have contact with a child through the twenty-four hour cycle of 

8 A description of the work at these institutions is given elsewhere in 
this chapter. 


his experiences. This gives them the opportunity of caring for 
all of his needs, whereas in the nursery-school type of laboratory 
only part of the day's routine with children is touched and only 
part of the duties of parenthood are encountered. A further ad- 
vantage to students comes in the planning, organizing, and op- 
erating of a household around a child. 

Disadvantages, however, lie in the fact that babies in home 
management houses are cared for by a rotating personnel, which 
necessitates for the child a great many adjustments to affection 
and authority, and in the fact that such children have little com- 
panionship with other children or with men. 

Too little is known about the relative advantages or disad- 
vantages of this type of laboratory to warrant a conclusion as to 
its desirability. The Conference on Children in Home Management 
Houses held in Minnesota in 1926 considered the matter and made 
recommendations which will be discussed in a moment. The Col- 
lege of Home Economics at -Cornell University is now (June, 1928) 
studying the matter and will soon report upon it. 

2. The Minnesota Conference on Child Training Courses and on 
Children in Home Management Houses 

In June, 1926, a Conference on Child Training Course's and on 
Children in Home Management Houses was held at the University 
of Minnesota at the instigation of Dr. John E. Anderson and Miss 
Wylle McNeal. This conference, attended by fifty persons actively 
interested or engaged in teaching child-training courses or home- 
management laboratory courses, was called in the hope of gaining 
a better understanding of the problems in the two fields and of es- 
tablishing closer cooperation between those attending. 

Twenty-two institutions of collegiate rank were reported at this 
conference to be offering courses in child training. 6 

Courses were offered in these institutions under seventeen 
different names, though "Child Care and Training 7 ' and "Child 
Care" predominated. They were open to seniors in nineteen 

"These were Cornell University, Iowa State College, Kansas State Agri- 
cultural College, Merrill-Palmer Motherhood and Home Training School, Mich- 
igan State College, Montana State College, North Dakota Agricultural College, 
Oregon Agricultural College, Ohio State University, Purdue University, State 
College of Washington, and the Universities of Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, 
Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, West Virginia, Wisconsin, 
and Wyoming. 


schools, seniors or juniors in three schools, juniors in two, juniors 
or sophomores in one, and as an elective in one. The usual amount 
of credit given was three or two semester hours, or three quarter- 
hours. In seven of these institutions 7 students received credit for 
observation of children in addition to credit received for attending 
lectures. In five of these schools no opportunity for observing chil- 
dren was offered; in ten, nursery schools, in four, home manage- 
ment houses were available for observation ; in four, contact with 
children was made in homes or through agencies. 

It is interesting to note that fifteen of the twenty-two courses 
required psychology as a prerequisite; ten required foods, nutri- 
tion or dietetics ; only six required both. 

A study of the outlines of eighteen of these courses showed that 
four dealt predominantly with the physical care of the child, nine 
with the mental and behavior aspects of child life, while five devoted 
approximately the same amount of time to each. A typical course 
of thirty-two lectures, set up from a composite of the eighteen 
course outlines submitted, would divide the lectures into topics 
somewhat as follows: 

Topic Lectures 

History and Survey of Child Care Movement I 

Social Responsibilities and Rights of Children 2 

Relationship of Heredity and Environment I 

Prenatal and Maternity Care 5 

Physical Care, Diet, and Growth 6 

Mental Development 5 

Mental Hygiene, Behavior Problems, and Management 7 

Sex Education I 

Problems of Adolescence I 

Family Relationships 2 

Educational Material, (plays, books, stories, etc.) I 

It was evident that "the courses in child care and child training 
are in a stage of transition and .... although many have been 
given, primarily with reference to physical care, increasingly be- 
havior adjustments and mental hygiene are being emphasized. It 
is probable that in most institutions there will ultimately be two 
courses, one dealing with child care and its physical aspects, and 
the other with child training and behavior adjustments." 

7 Iowa State College, Merrill-Palmer School, Michigan State College, 
Kansas State Agricultural College, Ohio State University, University of Minne- 
sota, and Cornell University. 


A study of the bibliographies used for child care and training 
courses at that time (June, 1926) showed that there was relatively 
little material available in printed form as to the value of which 
there was agreement among teachers of child care and child training. 

The possibilities of developing a series of courses were also dis- 
cussed, with the result that the following program of subject matter 
was proposed as a possible major course occupying the full time 
of the student for one term or for one semester : 

I. Physical Growth and Development 

1. Maternity and Infant Care 

2. Physical Growth of the Preschool Child 
II. Mental Growth and Character Development 

III. Educational Methods for Young Children (in this, since the 
subject matter was growing* rapidly at that time, it was thought 
wise to propose no crystahzed methodology) 

IV. Environmental Aspects 

Two types of laboratory experience were proposed: the one 
offering opportunity for observation and practice with preschool 
children in nursery schools where personality studies, studies of 
general reactions, and case studies could be made; the other 
offering opportunity for observation in juvenile courts, infant wel- 
fare societies, and observation and possible practice in orphanages, 
kindergartens, habit clinics, day nurseries, and home-management 
houses. It was the sentiment of the group of teachers of child care 
and child training that at least one organized group of children 
a nursery school or its equivalent should be available wherever a 
child training course is given. 

One section of the Minnesota Conference discussed the problems 
which arise when a child in a home-management house must be 
cared for by a rotating personnel. These included the problem of 
providing companionship for the child, of providing contact with 
men, and other problems, the discussion of which showed keen 
awareness on the part of those attending the Conference of the 
difficulties involved in using children in home-management houses 
for the purpose of training preparents, and of the need of studying 
these problems. 

The joint meeting of both conference groups brought together 
the following recommendations: 8 

"Quoted: Bureau of Education Bulletin, 1927, No. 17, p. 61. 


From the Committee on Findings of the Child Training Conference : 

1. The minimum in child care and training should be a course carry- 
ing three semester credits, offering some opportunity for laboratory 
observation and open to junior and senior students. 

2. This course should be supplemented when possible by a course in 
methods and materials for the preschool period. 

3 The course now offered in colleges should be correlated with 
courses offered in related colleges or departments, and, if necessary, new 
courses should be organized to cover the aspects of child care and train- 
ing previously stated: (a) physical growth and development, (b) mental 
growth and character development, (c) education, and (d) environ- 
mental factors. 

4. Courses in child care and training should not be undertaken un- 
less it is possible to maintain high standards of work, staff, and equip- 
ment in all child training projects in order that paramount interests may 
be safeguarded. 
From the Conference on Children in Home Management Houses: 9 

3. That in the home management house, the student be given the 
maximum opportunity to initiate and carry out the plan for organization 
for living in the family group. 

4. That the family group in the home management house should in- 
clude children unless an institution finds better means of providing this 

3. The Development of Child Care Work, With or Without 

Laboratory Facilities, in Junior and Senior 

High Schools 

As recently as 1924 little information about public-school courses 
in child care was available. The United States Children's Bureau 
reported that three states had plans for such work, but inquiry 
showed that tKe plans were still unformulated or correlated with 
other subject matter. 

In February, 1925, the United States Bureau of Education re- 
ported three cities in which child care classes were conducted, one 
of them the class in the Highland Park High. School described 
earlier. In the same year the Children's Bureau reported four 
states having definite programs of work in child care. 

From this point, however, the development of courses in child 
care in junior and senior high schools was rapid. "A Survey of 
Public School Courses in Child Care" made by Dr. Lelah Mae 

Only 3 and 4 are quoted, since the others do not directly concern pre- 
parental education. 


Crabbs and Mrs. Mabel L. Miller, of the Merrill-Palmer School, 
begun in February, 1926, and published in May, 1927, shows that 
more than half of the states included child care in their state 
courses of study for 1926. The transitional state of the child care 
courses at that time seemed to these writers to indicate a concerted 
effort toward improvement 


In view of the exceedingly rapid growth of preparental educa- 
tion in the past two years it must be realized that a comprehensive 
account of the present status is impossible here. The best data 
which have been compiled in this connection are probably to be 
found in three recent studies. 10 Free Use is made of these studies 
in the following section of the discussion of preparental education, 
and occasion is taken here to acknowledge their great value. 

1. Preparental Education in Elementary and Secondary 
Schools in the United States 

a. Extent. The results of a questionnaire sent by Crabbs and 
Miller to the forty-eight states in February, 1926, showed that child 
care work was included in the state courses of study in twenty- 
seven states, that child-care courses were conducted as state-wide 
programs in seven states, and that child-care work was included 
as a unit in some other course in thirty-eight states. The work was 
offered under vocational home economics in twenty states and under 
general home economics in twelve. The total number of schools of 
elementary and secondary rank reported by state departments of 
education as offering child care work was 967, although an ex- 
haustive survey would doubtless have revealed a considerably 
larger number. ^ 

Reports from forty-eight state and two territorial home-eco- 
nomics supervisors, in 1927-1 928, 11 indicated that the number of 

"Crabbs, Lelah Mae, and Miller, Mabel L. A Swrvey of Public School 
Cours&s m Child Care for Girls. Merrill-Palmer School, May, 1927. 

Richardson, Anna E v and Miller, Mabel L. Child Development and Pa- 
rental Education in Home Economies' A Survey of Schools and Colleges. 
American Home Economics Association, Baltimore, Maryland, May, 1928. 

"Whitcomb, Emeline S. Typical Child Care and Parenthood Education m 
Some Economics Departments. IT. S. Bureau of Education, Washington, 
J>. 0., 1927. 

"Richardson and Miller. Op. tit., Section HE, Day Schools. 


states offering courses in child care had increased to forty-six and 
the number of day schools offering such courses to 2250, with the 
probability that not all courses were reported, even so. 

b. Title of Course. "Child Care" was, in 1926, the name of 
the course in 72 percent of the courses reported, and "Child Train- 
ing" in 17 percent, other names used were: " Mothereraf t, J ' "In- 
fant Hygiene," "Little Mothers' League," "Child Welfare," 
"Home Nurse," "Child Nurse," "-Child Nurture," "Home Craft," 
and "Junior Nurse." The course was required in 58 percent of the 
schools replying to the questionnaires. This predominance of the 
name "Child Care" or of "Child Care and Training" was still 
obvious in the later survey. 

Little Mothers' classes under the Sheppard-Towner Act were 
given in 1925 12 in twenty states to 1362 classes with an average 
enrollment of twenty-one pupils a total of approximately 28,602 

Reports from Mother craft, Red Cross, and Little Mothers' 
classes gave an approximate total of 71,754 school pupils who re- 
ceived child-care courses presented by these three agencies during 
a period of one year. 13 

c. Grade Placement. An analysis of seventy-three replies to 
questionnaires received from school officials 14 showed that child care 
work was presented in three schools in the sixth grade, in fifteen 
schools in the seventh grade, and in eighteen schools in the eighth 
grade. Thirty-two percent offered it in the ninth grade, 31 percent 
offered it in the twelfth grade, and 29 percent in the eleventh. A 
number of schools offered the work in both junior and senior high 
schools. Ninety-eight percent of them offered it in home economics 

Partial courses were given in 1927-1928, with further distribu- 
tion similar to the foregoing report, with the exception of a con- 
siderably larger proportion of part courses given in the eighth 

In an attempt to decide when child-care courses should be given, 
Crabbs and Miller offer the following data 15 regarding marriages, 
school attendance laws, and the persistence in school : 

Crabbs and Miller. Op. (M., p 18. 
Ibid., p. 23. 
Hid., p. 24. 
IZ?., pp. 25-30. 


(1) There is no minority age limit for marriage in 17 states, and 
the legal marriage age in 9 states is 12 years for girls and 15 years for 

(2) Last year there were 3000 marriages of couples under 15 years 
of age. Thirteen percent of native American girls marry between 15 
and 20 years; 6 percent of American girls of the first generation marry 
between the ages of 15 and 20 years, and 30 percent of non-college 
women marry before 23 years of age. 

(3) Interesting statistics from a few states regarding age of mar- 
riage show that there are legally married: 13,000 girls 15 years of age, 
50,000 girls 16 years of age, 1,600 boys 15 years of age, and 3,000 boys 
1 6 years of age. 

The 1920 census shows the percentage of the entire number of girls 
of each age in the United States who are married to be: 

15 years old i% 17 years old 10% 

16 years old 4% 18 years old 19% 

(4) The girl who stops school at the 7th or 8th grade will have 
three or four children; the girl who finishes high school will have two, 
while college graduates average from .35 of a child (Bryn Mawr) to 
.95 of a child (Mt. Holyoke) according to averages shown by statistics. 

Attendance at school is required: 

In 5 states to age 18 In 3 states to age 15 

In 2 states to age 17 In 6 states to age 14 

In 32 states to age 16 

(5) The estimated distribution of pupils by grades, in public schools 
only, is for 1922 as follows : 

Elementary School High School 

ist Grade 21% 5th Grade 12% ist Year 42% 

2nd Grade 14% 6th Grade 10% 2nd Year 27% 

3rd Grade 14% 7th Grade g% 3rd Year 18% 

4th Grade 13% 8th Grade 7% 4th Year 13% 

(6) The large majority of children leaving school do so in the 5th 
and 6th grades and at the age of 14 years. As high as 74 percent of the 
children receiving working permits have not gone beyond the 5th grade. 

The fact that almost twice as many native American girls as Ameri- 
can girls of the first generation marry between the ages of 15 and 20 
years is interesting, because several schools have reported that the course 
seems especially necessary for classes of foreign girls who will soon be 

The more frequent early marriages in small towns and rural districts 
raises the problem of presenting child-care courses in schools where 
teachers are already burdened with full programs. The Red Cross 
nurses are giving courses in many of these communities. 


Table X shows that in 67% of the States school attendance is re- 
quired until the child is 16 years old. This fact would seem to eliminate 
the difficulties accompanying- the presentation of child care courses to 
those who will need them most, but the distribution of pupils by grades, 
in public schools only, and the fact that 74% of children receiving work 
permits have not gone beyond the 5th grade, are contradictory and again 
raise the question of training students in child care during the earlier 
school years. 

d. Time Allotment. Of twenty-eight school officials nine re- 
ported 16 that students were given laboratory work in connection 
with the child-care course to the extent of two to two and three- 
quarters hours per week, and four to the extent of five hours per 
week ; the average was about two and one-half hours. 

In 1927-1928 17 the average length of the course was ten weeks 
(classes meeting five times per week for periods from 60 to 80 
minutes in length) another indication of the rapid growth of 
interest in child care and training in elementary and secondary 

e. Laboratory Facilities. Laboratory facilities were secured 18 
in baby clinics at eighteen schools, in home at seventeen schools, in 
primary grades at ten, in children's hospitals at seven, in day 
nurseries at six, and in nursery schools at four schools ; some schools, 
the figures show, made use of several of these types of laboratories. 
Reports from Richardson and Miller 19 show that 1620 schools in 
thirty-four states and 275 schools in thirty-six cities offered some 
plan by which girls may have contact with, young children chil- 
dren brought to school, contact with primary grades, and children 
in the girls' immediate environment being the most frequent. Sixty- 
six percent of the supervisors in home economics reported 20 some 
form of contact with young children a figure which in all proba- 
bility indicates an increase in laboratory facilities between 1926 
and 1928. This does not mean, of course, that such laboratory work 
is always adequate in amount or is adequately supervised, but it 
does indicate an acceptance of the principle that classroom teaching 
of child care should be supplemented by practical contact with 

L, p. 30. 

1T Richardson and Miller. Op. tit., p. 18. 
18 Cxabbs and Miller. Op. cvt., p. 33. 
M Richardson and Miller. Op. ctt., p. 18. 
*rbid., p. 30. 


f. Textbooks. Of the seventy-three schools answering ques- 
tionnaires 21 about use of textbooks, 35 percent used a regular text 
(listing twelve different books used), 22 32 percent used no textbook, 
while 22 percent used references (listing twenty-two different 
books) , and 21 percent used pamphlets. 

g. Equipment. Twenty-five schools reported to Crabbs and 
Miller 23 special equipment in use for the child-care courses, the 
cost of which ranged from $3 to $1600; the cost in twenty-three 
schools was $100 or less, in one school $300, and in another $1600. 

h. Teacher Qitalifications. Seventy-three answers 24 to the 
question "What special qualifications has the teacher for presenting 
courses in child care?" showed that twenty-five teachers had train- 
ing in home economics , twenty had special courses about children , 
sixteen had nurses' training; sixteen were listed simply as 'uni- 
versity graduates'; eleven (less than one-fifth) had had practical 
experience with children. 

In the Richardson and Miller report there is a similar distribu- 
tion 25 of training, showing the same outstanding lack of practical 
experience with children. There is hope that this defect of training 
will be less conspicuous as programs for professional training in 
teaching of child care, discussed elsewhere in the Yearbook, have 
had opportunity to place in teaching positions in elementary and 
secondary schools women especially trained for the work and pos- 
sessed of practical experience with children. 

a Crabbs and Miller. Op. tit., p. 34. 

23 This list is as follows: Times 

Author and Title Reported 

Hasbrouck, Handbook for Teachers of Infant Hygiene Classes 9 

Cooley and Spohr, Household Arts for Home and School 2 

Dickinson, Children Well and Happy 2 

Kimber, Book of Nursing 2 

Bed Cross, Home Hygiene and Care of the Sick 2 

Aikens, Home Nursing 1 

Bundeson, Our Babies 1 

Cleveland, Training the Toddler 1 

Grove, Wholesome Childhood 1 

Marsh, Home Nursing and Infant Care 1 

Michigan Little Mothers ' League Manual 1 

West, Child Care 1 

38 Op. ctt., p. 38. 

"TWA, p 40. 

25 Richardson and Miller. Op. eit , pp, 34, 35. 


i. Content of Courses. Analysis 26 of the subject matter of 
seventy-three courses offered showed that 94 percent of them in- 
cluded physical care and clothing, 88 percent habit formation, 87 
percent physical development, 55 percent mental and social de- 
velopment, 49 percent prenatal care, and 43 percent heredity and 
reproduction of life. Other topics included with increasingly small 
frequency are : emotional development, child psychology, nutrition, 
play, story telling, discipline, behavior problems, books, fears, na- 
tional marriage laws, qualifications for parenthood, and toys the 
last six topics included in only one course each. 

The emphasis on the physical care of the child is clear, a fact 
corroborated by Bureau of Education Bulletin, No. 17, and by 
the study of Richardson and Miller. It is interesting, in the light 
of the tendency of child care and training courses of college and 
university level (as reported at the Minnesota Conference on Child 
Training Courses discussed in the preceding section), to note the 
predominant and increasing emphasis upon the mental and social 
aspects of child life. Perhaps a more desirable balance of subject 
matter in elementary and secondary school courses may be expected 
as teachers with better balanced training can be obtained. 

One city high school describes 27 a "Home Craft " course which 
is required for graduation of all boys in the junior year This 
course, which is given in combination with physical education, in- 
cludes among other homemaMng units a unit in child-care which 
covers responsibility of parenthood ; care of little children physi- 
cal, mental, moral; the boy's responsibility for the care of little 
ones ; present-day problems in education and training of children ; 
cost of children. 

2. Child -Care in Part-Time Schools 

a. Extent. Of the fifty state supervisors and the ninety-one 
city supervisors questioned by Richardson, forty-seven 28 of the state 
and forty of the city supervisors sent information about part-time 
schools. Seven states reported a total of 137 schools, and seventeen 
additional schools were reported by fourteen cities, making a total 
of 154 schools. The enrollment reported by six states showed 38,165 
girls receiving work in child care. 

* Crabbs and Miller. Op. (At., p. 41. 
31 Richardson and Miller. Op. dt., p. 41. 
a * Ibid., Section VI, pp. 43 f . 


b. Description of Courses. (t Child care" is, as in the case of 
other types of schools, the most usual name for the part-time classes 
teaching material about children. 

These courses, though often brief, are usually very practical, 
since a large proportion of the part-time girls are caring for little 
brothers and sisters or acting as assistants in homes or elsewhere 
where care of children is one phase of their duties. Most of these 
girls go to school two half days a week; two hours are given to 
home-making, one unit of which is child care. The general pur- 
pose of the courses is to develop an interest in and an appreciation 
of children and to teach the care of younger brothers and sisters. 

There is in these courses an even greater predominance of 
emphasis 29 on the physical care of children than in the classes for 
the full-time students. 

It should be noted in this connection, however, that at a con- 
ference of teachers of part-time schools held in one city the topic of 
mental hygiene for children was discussed and recommendations 
made for the formulation of subject matter for part-time classes in 
child care. 

c. Contacts with Children. "It is a striking fact that although 
the amount of time devoted to child care work is very limited, only 
one state supervisor reported that contact with the children was 
not provided. Nine state and five city supervisors reported that 
such provision was made." 30 

The usual type of laboratory contacts prevailed, viz: visiting 
kindergartens, day nurseries, children's hospitals, baby and pre- 
school clinics, and observing siblings at home This last type of 
contact is unusually frequent, probably because siblings are present 
in an unusual proportion of homes of girls who attend part-time 

d. Qualification of Teachers. Teachers of 83 percent 81 of these 
part-time classes were persons trained in home economics who had 
not been selected on the basis of special training for child care work, 

89 Of a course to girls in a foreign community, it is said (p. 45) : t Em- 
phasis is placed on physical care for we must combat the idea that a certain 
number of children must die anyway, no matter what care is given. "We teach 
feeding the children something more than chili and beans and continually urge 
that parents use public health agencies for the physical and intellectual welfare 
of the children." 

"Ibid., p. 49. 
p. 50. 


although some of them had had work in home management, nutri- 
tion, sociology, or psychology. One state reported that a child spe- 
cialist offered their courses in thirty part-time schools; one city 
uses a doctor who has had home economics training, and a number 
mention the assistance of the school nurse, physician, minister, 
librarian, social worker, and kindergarten teacher. 

e. Content of Courses. Suggestions for the teaching of child 
care to girls in general continuation schools through related work 
may be cited here. For a group of "home permit girls," thus 
named because they were unable to attend school on account of 
home conditions, very often because they must care for the younger 
members of the family, avenues of approach were: 

Thrift how to teach saving and wise spending to children. 

Arithmetic cost of feeding and clothing a young' child. 

Civics habit clinics and community life. 

English the child in relation to the home and to other children, the 
child's responsibility in the home. 

History of child training. 

Geography child training in other countries. 

Personal hygiene physical and mental (including habits, imitation, 
love of praise, curiosity, and ownership). 

Family relationships the vital importance of home and family to the 
preschool child and the relationships within the family, as they 
affect the child's attitudes. 

Another school offers a unique homemaking course in which the cen- 
tral theme is the planning of a home that will give to the child the best 
environment for his development. "The lessons are arranged in 
sequence, beginning- with a consideration of the function of the home, 
newly married people establishing a home, married women in vocational 
occupations, the coming of children, sex education, adolescence, preg- 
nancy, confinement, care of the new-born child, care of the child from one 
to five years of age, food for the family, children's clothing, needs of 
childhood, family relationships, and mental and moral development of 
the child. Economy of time and labor in its relationship to child care 
and training is also emphasized throughout this homemaking course." 3 * 

3. Typical -Child Care a-nd Training Projects in Elementary 
Schools and in Junior and Senior High Schools 

Bulletin No. 17 of the Bureau of Education, Washington, D. ., 
contains reports upon several typical child care and training 
projects in elementary, junior, and senior high schools. Summaries 

88 Biehardson and Miller. Op. dt. t pp. 54 f. 


of a number of these reports are given here. The reports of the 
Highland Park, Michigan, project and of the work at the Liggett 
School, a private high school in the city of Detroit, which are in- 
cluded, were written especially for this publication. 

a. Typical Child Care Courses in Elementary Schools. In Fari- 
bault, Minnesota, all seventh-grade girls take an i8-week unit of work 
in child care and training. The text used was prepared by the Minnesota 
State Board of Health for this course. It stresses the health side of 
child care from infancy to the school age, but also includes some dis- 
cussion of habit and character training, amusements, clothing, and the 
family, community and state opportunities for promoting the welfare 
of the child. 

Holland, Michigan, offers a slightly different course in home crafts. 
This is a 10 weeks' course developed for girls in the eighth grade, as 
many of the girls spend part of their out-of-school time taking care of 
babies or young children The girls study the hygienic care of the baby, 
with lessons on environment, cleanliness, food, clothing, development of 
the baby, and food for children up to five years of age. 

b. Child Care Course in Elementary and Junior High Schools Using 
a Day Nursery. Los Angeles, California, has 16 or more day nurseries 
under the jurisdiction of the city board of education and supervised 
by its department of home economics. An English-speaking woman 
trained in the care of children is in charge of each nursery and is assisted 
by girls in the home economics classes of the elementary and junior high 
schools. In this work the girls learn to prepare and serve food to the 
children, to care for and amuse them, to make and launder the children's 
clothing, and to keep the nurseries clean and comfortable. This ex- 
perience in the care of young children has an immediate practical value, 
as many of them are caring for young brothers and sisters in their own 

c. Typical Child Care Courses in Junior High Schools. In Oakland, 
California in 1917 a group of teachers began the development of a 
course in general science for the newly organized junior high schools of 
the city. Many of these schools were "Neighborhood Schools," in in- 
dustrial districts with a large foreign-born population. The schools in 
some instances conducted day nurseries, and were the local centers of 
community life, providing recreation facilities and health centers. A 
general science course for such schools could scarcely be expected to 
conform to the conventional type. From the first, every aid and en- 
couragement was given by Dr. Fred M. Hunter, Superintendent of 
Schools. The hygiene requirements for the seventh and eighth grades 
were to be met by the science work. In studying nutrition, one of the 

88 Written by Dr. Edna Bailey, Department of Education, University of 
California, for the Yearbook The work in senior high schools in Oakland is 
described further on. 


teachers discovered that the growth records and feeding problems of the 
babies attending the Well Baby Center in the school cottage afforded the 
most fascinating material for teaching seventh and eighth-grade pupils 
many things about themselves. This discovery was adapted by other 
teachers to their own situations and opportunities, in all of which it has 
proved most fruitful. The study of childhood was soon extended to 
include other factors influencing growth. Recently, increasing emphasis 
has been placed on the mental hygiene factors in a child's well-being. 
Less time has been spent on bathing the baby and the selection of the 
best kind of nursing bottle, more time on the psychology and physiology 
of habit formation. Interest has been directed toward gaining knowl- 
edge and experience which would help these young people to understand 

These units dealing with child care and related topics have been used 
in the newer junior high schools in sections of the city where economic 
conditions are more favorable and cultural background richer. They 
have proved quite as valuable here as in the less fortunate districts, so 
far as helping pupils to self-comprehension is concerned. Babies are 
not so plentiful; there are no nurseries in the schools; and it is in con- 
sequence much more difficult to provide opportunities for direct ob- 
servation. Use has been made of mothers within a few blocks of the 
school, who will permit "field trips" to watch the baby's morning toilet 
or his afternoon play. This has never been as satisfactory as the nursery 
work, but it has been amazing to find how much life and interest a single 
exposure to a real baby will inject into a science class. 

The "Baby Books" which have been kept by the pupils' own mothers 
have proved a mine of fascinating material. Various health and social 
service agencies have cooperated by permitting field trips and sending 
workers to give talks on local conditions and by lending exhibits and 
other teaching material. 

In the Continuation' School this work has yielded excellent results. 
Some of these girls are already married; many are engaged, and many 
others are caring for younger children. The work with this group is 
modified to fit the greater maturity and heavier responsibilities of these 
young women. 

In New York City junior high schools which have home-making 
apartments use a large hospital doll or a real child for demonstration 
purposes in their child care courses. Schools without homemaking equip- 
ment work with the younger grade children, weighing and measuring 
them and teaching them health habits by means of pictures and charts. 
Many of the girls take care of young children outside of school and their 
experiences are discussed in the classroom to stimulate interest and also 
to impart information as to what care young girls can give to preschool 

The Cleveland, Ohio, junior high schools have series of lessons on 
child care and training, two for the seventh grade, three for the eighth 


grade, and ten for the ninth grade. These progress from series of lessons 
on how to keep children clean and happy and how to feed them, to the 
longest series which takes up food for children at various ages, feeding 
habits, and standards of cleanliness, recreation and amusement. 

A Denver, Colorado, survey of the home activities of 5106 junior 
and senior high-school girls, including interviews with 850 parents, 
showed that 29 percent of the girls shared in the care of preschool 
children. Seventy-eight percent of the parents interviewed recommended 
courses in child care and training for these girls. This study resulted 
in a course, "Help with Young Children," for all beginning eighth-grade 
pupils in the junior high school. This course takes up personal cleanli- 
ness, health habits (including food, sleep, fresh air, and exercise) and 
the recreation and entertainment of young children (including ways of 
dealing with them to develop good traits and prevent undesirable ones). 
The senior high-school girls may take an elective course in homemaking 
and child care. 

Wisconsin seems to be the only state in which the bureau of child 
welfare of the state health department, cooperating with the department 
of public instruction and vocational education, has introduced a course in 
infant hygiene into the regular course of study set by the state. The 
course may be offered as part of the home economics, physical education, 
or physiology and hygiene courses. Most city schools include it with the 
home economics instruction, while rural schools usually give the work 
as part of the physiology and hygiene course for the eighth grade. 

All students who have had 10 hours of work in infant hygiene and 
a demonstration of bathing the baby and preparing a bottle food formula, 
and who pass an oral or written examination on the subject with a grade 
of 70 percent or better, are awarded a semi-formal diploma which en- 
titles each girl to be called one of "Wisconsin's Little Mothers." In 
1926 these diploma requirements were met by the girls in 30 of the 44 
vocational schools. 

Where feasible, the ten lessons are demonstrated, and standardized 
equipment for this is recommended by the state as part of the school 
property in every school where the work is given. This equipment in- 
cludes a hospital doll, an open-front layette, equipment for bathing a 
baby and for preparing an artificial food formula, and a basket bed. 

Six of the eleven state normal schools give the infant hygiene 
course in full; the remainder give a portion of it. Of the thirty-one 
county rural normal schools, thirteen give all the work, fifteen a part of 
it, and three whatever the state organizer of the work is able to offer 
on her visits. In twenty-one high schools with teacher-training depart- 
ments seven give all the work, five give a part of it; the remainder have 
what the state organizer has time to give them. Thirty-one rural schools, 
three county schools of agriculture and domestic science, and the state 
schools for the blind and deaf give the entire course; many others lack- 
ing equipment for demonstration, give part of it. 


d. Child Care Courses in General High Schools. The nursery 
school at Highland Park, Michigan, 34 is a laboratory for the department 
of child care of the high school. Since the nursery school is necessarily 
an expensive project because of the limited number who derive benefit 
from it, it took some little time to get established. The Merrill-Palmer 
School made the start possible by furnishing a teacher and, for two 
years, an assistant teacher, beginning with December, 1924. In the fall 
of 1927 the Highland Park Board of Education felt that they were ready 
to assume the financial responsibility, and now, as a part of the public 
school system, it is financed by the Board of Education. While a fee of 
$10 oo per month is paid by the parents of each child, this only partly 
covers the cost. 

The nursery school is equipped to accommodate seventeen children 
at a time. A substitute list is maintained from which to draw when 
children are to be absent for a time. Children are taken as near two 
years of age as possible and kept until they enter kindergarten. In ad- 
dition the nursery school has enrolled a baby, so that in teaching child 
care the work can begin, not with the two-year-old, but with the infant. 

The primary object of the Highland Park nursery school is to 
furnish a laboratory for the training of future mothers, through actual 
participation in the care of little children. If one of the objectives of 
education is to train for worthy home membership, it seems the re- 
sponsibility of the public school to furnish the means of giving this train- 
ing in preparation for motherhood. 

In Highland Park the department of child care is a separate depart- 
ment, and the course is planned to supplement the work given in the home 
economics department. The head of the department of child care, Miss 
Alice Rebecca Walhn, is trained in home economics and child develop- 
ment. She supervises the activities of the department and does the class 
teaching. In charge of the little children is Miss Elna Jensen, trained at 
the McMillan Open-Air Nursery School of London. There is one 
voluntary worker, a high school graduate, and in addition a school nurse 
and a physician who give part-time service. 

According to the present plan students from the senior or junior 
classes are enrolled in child care. They all have a background of home 
economics training. These girls are scheduled for a fifty-minute class 
which meets once a week. For laboratory experience they are scheduled 
for the nursery school for seven periods, or all the school day with the 
exception of two periods when the children are asleep, once each month. 

Five students are scheduled for the nursery school at one time, and 
regular laboratory duties are assigned in rotation; so they have different 
studies each time, and a wide variety of contacts, They help supervise 
the cloakroom when the children first come in the morning, assist in the 
washroom when needed and help with the various plays, games, and 

** This report was written for the Yearbook by Miss Wallin, of the High- 
land Park Nursery School. 


domestic activities. They supervise the table setting and eat with the 
children In turn they prepare the food for the baby and bathe him. 
All of this is carried on under the skilled supervision of a trained teacher. 
One point credit toward graduation is given for the work . 

During the laboratory period, m addition to the assigned duties, the 
students have an opportunity to make a study of individual children and 
to make comparisons of the capabilities of children at different ages. 
They make reports of their observation on the kind of indoor and outdoor 
material chosen by the child ; his ability in rhythm, language, and reason- 
ing; his imagination, concentration, emotional and instinctive reactions, 
disposition, leadership, initiative, and habits. The students are required 
to make a report of observation of one of the younger and one of the 
older children. 

In the weekly meetings of the classes in child care the discussions 
are led along various topics pertaining to problems in child training. 
Such topics are included as the development of the preschool child, 
physical, mental and social ; habits and habit training and those problems 
in habit training which become behavior problems. Problems of dis- 
cipline together with obedience and punishment, the emotional life of 
the child, play as education, stories and music in the life of the child 
are all brought up for discussion 

In their contact with the infant the students all have the opportunity 
of seeing the demonstration of the baby's bath given by a nurse. Then 
in turn they are assigned, at the nursery school, to bathe the baby, pre- 
pare the food, and to do the many things necessary for the comfort 
and well-being of the infant. They discuss the clothing required by the 
infant, (a layette is used for demonstration) and the general factors 
which enter into the welfare of the baby. The students have the op- 
portunity of hearing a woman doctor talk on prenatal care and, later 
on, see the doctor give a physical examination of a little child. 

While no adequate textbook has been found suitable for instruction 
in child care, Groves's Wholesome Childhood is put into the hands of each 
student, as well as a collection of typed material prepared by the teacher 
in charge. The students are assigned individual readings to be done in 
the school library which has a very good collection of books on child 

In the fall of 1928 the school hopes to offer a course in "Family 
Life" to those girls who are planning to leave school before graduation. 
Included in this course will be a unit on child training. While the 
nursery-school facilities are at present inadequate to allow for a greater 
number to work with the little children, these girls will be given an 
opportunity to observe the children there. In this way they will enlarge 
their experience and learn through observation satisfactory methods of 
dealing with problems connected with the little child. 


In the Oakland, California, schools 38 during the war years, the junior 
Red Cross organization worked under the direction of Mrs. Sue L. Fratis. 
Three city high schools 'adopted* three nurseries in nearby neighborhood 
schools, contributing needed equipment, small luxuries, and funds 
enough to provide good care. It was felt that charitable money-raising 
and spending was not a proper function of an educational system; that 
contacts between these clubs and their projects must be such as to yield 
educationally valuable material. The social service clubs studied their 
chosen nurseries, decided what was needed, raised the money, spent it, 
and brought back to their various classes the experiences acquired in the 
course of these projects. It soon became evident that there was room 
for much personal service to these institutions. Boys from the Fremont 
High School worked with a delegation from the labor unions on a 
Saturday afternoon to build a wonderful sleeping porch for their 
nursery; girls from Fremont came over at ten every morning to help 
with baths when the nursery was overstocked with very little babies; 
Oakland High girls told stories to little groups while their boy friends 
built a sandbox; Technical High proudly displayed the new nursery 
cottage, complete even to wall decorations, toys, and marvelous painted 
furniture. Girls and boys came to help the busy nursery matron in the 
afternoon playtime. Some of us who have watched these things since 
1918 have yearly expected enthusiasm to wane, fickle interest to swing 
to some other quarter; but to date there has been found no more fascinat- 
ing toy for a vigorous and ebullient high school than a nursery which it 
regards as "all its own." 

All of this work has been done without credit by students and with- 
out pay by the teachers who were back of the clubs. It was valued highly 
by all concerned as a chance to see certain aspects of life at close 
quarters In social problems classes students have frequently drawn on 
their experiences in the nurseries to make a point in the class discussion. 
A group of juniors discussed most scathingly the proposed budget of the 
Community Chest, proceeding on the basis of what "their children" 
needed and were likely to need, and displaying keen interest in a set of 
dull figures, passed over without question by most adults of the com- 

For the sake of the attitude of students toward the nursery it is 
well to give high-school students a good deal of responsibility, under 
intelligent guidance, for their own nursery laboratories. The scheme of 
interior decoration, the actual purchasing and placing of needed ma- 
terials, the upkeep of bibs and washcloths and blankets and pinafores, 
flowers and pictures, the choice and purchase of play materials, are within 
the scope of their abilities and interests. Our first hint that boys were 
interested in child care came from the very natural manner in which the 
girl who was chairman of the committee on outdoor play materials called 

85 Written for the Yearbook by Dr. Edna Bailey, Department of Educa- 
tion, University of California, 


on her boy friends for aid. The result was that the boys took the whole 
matter out of her hands. These same boys later made a model of a 
backyard playground for a local child welfare exhibit which won "dis- 
tinguished commendation." It is now taken for granted that the 
nurseries are quite as much the concern and responsibility of the boys 
as of the girls. 

The chief drawback to these projects has seemed to me to be that 
the load of money- raising for initial equipment and remodeling was too 
heavy. This bore harder on the teachers than on the students, but called 
for more effort from both than could be justified educationally. In one 
case, the nursery started with one very inadequate room and was literally 
built and equipped by student aid. In another, the cottage was given, 
but had to be moved seven blocks and completely made over. Now that 
these initial difficulties are surmounted, the financial problem is much less 
acute. Another undesirable feature is the distance of the high schools 
from their chosen nurseries. Of the total time devoted to the project, 
far too much has had to be spent in travel. 

Any attempt to give academic credit for such activity would probably 
result in formalization and a speedy withdrawal of students from active 
direction of the enterprise. On the other hand, the greatest usefulness 
of these projects can only be realized when all the teachers, especially 
in social studies, science, and English, are in close touch with the experi- 
ences which the nursery is bringing to students, and on the alert to 
capitalize them in regular class work. 

Any brief statement concerning these nurseries is bound to be 
inadequate, because forced to ignore the many other factors and people 
involved in their establishment and maintenance. Especially should be 
mentioned the work of the visiting teachers and school nurses attached 
to each neighborhood school, without whom neither school health center 
nor nursery could have been conceived or maintained. Their willingness 
to work with the high-school youngsters has developed an extensive 
program centering around the nurseries. This has been especially strong 
in the schools connected with nurseries, rather than in the high schools. 
No attempt is made here to describe this phase of the work, which has 
had many admirable developments. The art departments have also 
capitalized the opportunities for decoration and home-planning. 

A third type of education in child care has developed in connection 
with senior-high-school classes in physiology in the University High 
School. This work is recognized as a science of senior grade. The study 
of metabolism, growth and development, and reproduction is the first 
semester's work. Records of growth of litters of rats and guinea pigs 
were kept, and growth curves plotted. The president of the city federa- 
tion of Parent-Teacher Associations saw some of these graphs, and 
asked the class for aid in keeping track of the growth of a group of 
kindergarten children who were being given free milk by the Association. 
Definite information as to the value of this gift was very much desired, 


but no teacher or nurse had the time to keep the records and make the 
study. This was adopted as a class project. Four students took one 
double period a week for field work. This enterprise has flourished for 
four years, and yielded returns beyond anything dreamed of at the be- 
ginning. When the children whose pounds of gain had been so slowly 
accumulated in the spring came back in August worse off than in the 
previous June, the feelings of the students were unmistakable and their 
convictions as to the general futility of half-way measures very hard to 
shake. They learned that while milk may be good for all small fry, 
children are not to be wholly explained in terms of their food and drink, 
nor even of their fresh air and sleep and outdoor play. In teaching this 
class, every effort was made to avoid "preaching," to leave the students 
free to do their own thinking, but no question was ever dodged or 
answered dishonestly. The reactions were almost as various as the 
students themselves ; but all were interested, and all were getting definite 
concrete material out of which to build their own conceptions of the 
growth of a human being. 

Throughout the work here reported, the emphasis has been placed on 
knowledge and attitudes as desirable outcomes, rather than on skills and 
habits. To liberalize the student's conceptions, to free him from tradi- 
tion, superstition, and ignorance in the field of human growth and de- 
velopment, has been a dominant aim, especially in the senior high school. 
Children are not presented to the student for study because he or she 
may some day become a parent. They are studied because they are 
intrinsically interesting, because childhood is a highly significant stage in 
human development, because no adult can be understood except in terms 
of his whole life-cycle, and finally because of the great role the com- 
munity plays in conservation of childhood, and the responsibilities for 
citizenship which that r61e brings to all. 

Such material and such field work as are here suggested are of 
great value for the vitalizing and enriching of the academic courses in 
which they are incorporated; their value in relation to extra-curricular 
activities is unmistakable and steadily increasing. 

The high school at Peterborough, N. H., started, in 1926, to offer 
five senior girls in the department of home economics an eight weeks' 
unit of class instruction in child care and training with opportunities to 
observe in the nursery school of the city. The classroom discussions 
took up food, clothing, medical and dental care, play; adjustment to home, 
playmates, school, and work; behavior difficulties, and psychopathic 
children. The observation work included environment, equipment and 
educational apparatus, physical condition and health habits, develop- 
mental program for both individual and social activities, interest, en- 
thusiasm, and judgment in the children, the nursery-school program, and 
the school discipline. 


4. Child-Care Courses in Vocational High Schools 

The three following paragraphs are illustrative of work in voca- 
tional high schools : 

In Chicago, III., the Lucy T. Flower Technical High School offers 
a unit of child care and training in the last semester of the four-year 
homemaking course. This unit consists of five 45-minute periods per 
week for 20 weeks The work includes a study of heredity, the establish- 
ment of physical health through medical supervision and hygienic living, 
normal home life, education, recreation, and protection against exploita- 
tion of child labor in the city and country. 

A rural community vocational high school at Lampeter, Pa., also 
offers a unit of child training and care to senior girls taking the home 
economics course. The unit consists of three class periods a week for 
one semester. The work begins with a study of housing conditions in 
the community, the physical care of the baby, the development of the 
preschool child, rural-school conditions, community health standards and 
prevention of disease, the training and management of the rural-school 
child in both physical and mental development, sex hygiene, prenatal 
care, heredity, child labor, and child welfare agencies. 

The Benton, la., Vocational High School has three courses in child 
welfare for girls from 16 to 18 years: child care and training (i8-weeks 
unit of two So-minute periods per week), child psychology (9-weeks 
unit of five 40-minute periods per week), and children's clothing- (9- 
weeks unit of four So-minute periods per week) . 

5. Child-Care Course in a Private High School 

The Liggett School of Detroit, Michigan, is a private organiza- 
tion, meeting the needs of a large group of socially favored girls 
with a curriculum inclusive of kindergarten, intermediate, and col- 
lege preparatory grades. The following are some of the features 
of its child-care course : 86 

While not primarily functioning- as an educational laboratory, owing 
to the vision and progressive policy of its founders and leaders, the 
Misses Ella and Jeannette Liggett, this school has been a garden spot 
for the nurturing of educational projects along a number of lines, notably 
in the establishing of standard tests for educational measurement under 
Dr. S. A. Courtis. Another outstanding feature of this pioneer work 
was the early organization of an opportunity for the students better to 
understand young children, and the subsequent development of this work 
as a structural part of its program in the maturing of the idea of pre- 
parental training 1 . 

86 Beport made for this Yearbook by Miss Jessie Lane of tlie Liggett 


The course of which the work in child care forms a unit is planned 
to meet the needs of a specific group, those girls who for a variety of 
reasons have not college entrance as a definite goal. The work toward 
the understanding of little children forms the culmination in the senior 
year of a closely correlated sequence in science and home economics, 
in which chemistry leads to nutrition study, or dietetics, and two years 
work in biology forms a background for both. Factors other than foods 
are considered in nutrition discussions, and the course throughout 
emphasizes the liberal, or cultural, rather than the vocational objective. 

Two outstanding conditions control the selection and handling 
of subject matter. First, the group is small, never exceeding fifteen 
girls, so that it is fairly easy to sense the reaction of the individual to 
the subject matter presented, and to change the line of attack in a way 
not possible with a more unwieldy group. And second, as it is seldom 
that one of these girls has young children in her own home or any direct 
personal contact with them in her life, a participation in their care, or 
responsibility for them, is no part of her personal problem or interest. 
Nor are most of them involved to any degree in matters of household 
management. Appeal, therefore, must be made on the intellectual rather 
than on the practical plane. It becomes necessary to present only such 
topics as may lie within the mental perspective of this type of student 
and care must be taken that the subject matter does not become wholly 
abstract in its discussion, and lose applicability. When this difficulty 
is avoided, it is often easy to arouse a vivid interest and a new-born 
consciousness that an effort toward the understanding of little children 
is most worth while. The response has often found immediate and 
constructive expression in helping with groups of young children in 
hospital wards and social centers. 

There is devoted in this course one two-hour period of laboratory 
observation each week in the Merrill-Palmer Nursery School, two fifty- 
minute hours of recitation and discussion, for each of which a definite 
assignment of work is prepared, and one hour of supervised study which 
gives opportunity for direction in the use of reference material and for 
personal interviews or conference. 

One problem confronting the leader of such a group is the present 
lack of reference material suitable to their comprehension and stimulat- 
ing to their interest 

The line of attack is always taken from the student's response to 
the situation after the first day's visit to the nursery school. This is 
usually on the nutritional aspect, as this falls somewhat within the girls' 
experience, but always their keen observations and questions open a wide 
variety of avenues toward desired ends. 

Based on these observations, the topics attempted have become some- 
what crystalized, though in open discussion a wider range of ideas is 
often involved in responding to inquiries on such subjects as heredity, 
results from contrasting environments, social responsibility, etc. 


The formal work can be included under the following heads, with the 
practical, easily observed points of the nursery-school regime coming 
in for first discussion : 

1. Food for children from 2 to 5 years : the mental as well as the 
physical aspects of the problem : 

a. Balanced diets for three days 

b. Hours of feeding 

c. "Don'ts" for adults 

d. Application or modification to the child's needs of principles 
handled during earlier nutrition study. 

2. Outdoor play: learning by experience; naps; clothing; toys. 

3. The mechanics of the nervous system. 

a. Laboratory work with frog 

b. Simple tests for reflexes 

4. Native endowments: (a) instincts, (b) reflexes, (c) condition 

5. Habits and habit formation (usually much and lively discussion 
on this topic both from the student's laboratory observation and in re- 
lation to her personal experience). 

6. Development of mental faculties and muscular correlation in 
relation to the age of the child. 

7. Use made of such developing faculties as imitation, imagination, 
and curiosity, 

8. Relation between work and play; methods used for desirable 
stimulation in each. 

9. Stories for children. 

jo. Pictures for children; correlation with art department; basis of 
selection for varying ages. 

11. Music; response to rhythm; musical games. 

12. Mental tests (one lecture), showing the desirability of establish- 
ing standards of comparison. 

13. Some history of child education : 

a. Robert Owen 

b. Froebel and the kindergarten 

c. The development of the nursery school 

Throughout the class work the effort lies toward an understanding 
of conditions necessary for the happy development of children and in 
rousing a sympathetic interest in the child as an individual, rather than 
in any experience in training children or in their physical care, which 
problems lie outside the daily interest or immediate horizon of girls of 
this age and social condition. 

While as yet no effort has been made to measure the results of 
this piece of work under controlled conditions, nevertheless certain re- 


suits are evident: notably, frequent spontaneous expressions showing a 
wholly new conception of the necessity for acquiring knowledge of 
child care, and of the importance of the application of intelligence to 
child development in all its phases. 

6. Preparental Education in -Colleges and Universities 

a. Source of Information. Comparison of studies of the status 
of child care courses in elementary and secondary schools showed 
that the growth between 1926 and 1927 was bewilderingly rapid. So 
rapid were the changes, in fact, that a survey of the present status 
presented insurmountable difficulties. A survey of the present 
status of child-care work with the preparental group of students in 
American colleges and universities presents the same type of diffi- 
culty, although in somewhat less degree, since there are fewer insti- 
tutions concerned. The only materials available in June, 1928,, 
which aid in a survey of child care work in colleges and universities 
are Chapters III and IV of Bulletin 17 of the Bureau of Edu- 
cation 37 and the bulletin of the American Home Economics Asso- 
ciation, 88 both of which have been quoted freely in the preceding 
section on preparental education in elementary and secondary 

In addition to materials found in these bulletins a special re- 
quest for a descriptive article has been sent to a number of typical 
centers where child care is given to preparental students of college 
and university standing. The centers represented Lave been 
selected as types wherever possible, as the chronologically first 
representative of any given type. 

These descriptive articles, edited to preserve unity of form, but 
otherwise presented as written by the chosen representatives from 
each center, are appended to this section of the discussion of pre- 
parental education. 

The study of Richardson and Miller, which attempted to reach 
only home economics departments, succeeded in establishing a eon- 
tact with so many colleges and universities that it may be con- 
sidered representative of the college programs of home economics 
throughout the United States for the academic year 1927-1928. 

17 Whiteomb, op. dt. 

88 Richardson and Miller, op. oit. 


"b. General Description of Courses. It was found by these 
authors 39 that 93 percent of the land-grant colleges for white stu- 
dents offered courses in child care. Thirty-six percent of other 
colleges and universities, and 31 percent of the teachers colleges 
and normal schools, included child development as part of their 
home economics programs. * e Child Care and Training, " or ' ' Child 
Care and "Welfare" were the most frequent names of the courses, 
especially where only one course of a general nature was offered. 
Almost one-half of the courses were offered as training for future 
parenthood, and about one-fourth for professional work. Of 145 
colleges and universities reporting, 60 gave a single course, 55 
gave parts of courses, 21 gave a group of courses, while nine com- 
bined complete courses and parts of courses. The amount of credit 
offered varied according to the organization of the courses. 

c. Students Enrolled. In 108 institutions the number of stu- 
dents enrolled for single courses was 2,032, for parts of courses 
1,741, for groups of courses 1,986, and for a combination of full and 
part courses 540, making a total of 6,299 students in this group of 
institutions who had work in child care and training in 1927-1928. 
In the main, child care and training courses were limited to stu- 
dents of junior and senior standing and required as prerequisites 
courses in home economics, psychology, biology, and chemistry. 

d. Titles of Courses. The scope of these courses in colleges 
where groups of courses were offered may be suggested by the titles 
under which they were offered : 

1. Child training, child psychology, parent training. 

2. Child care, child psychology, child feeding and physical care of 

3. Child welfare, child health. 

4. Child welfare, child training, preschool training, infant and ma- 
ternity care. 

5. Environmental factors, educational methods, mental develop- 
ment, behavior problems, physical growth, nursery-school techniques. 

The writers suggest that the names of courses will probably 
undergo considerable change as the subject matter in child de- 
velopment and parental education is developed and becomes better 

88 Bichardson and Miller, op. tit., pp. 71-76. 


e. Aims of Courses. Of the colleges reporting the aims of their 
work, almost half give " training for intelligent parenthood," one 
third give "to train professional workers," while more than half 
cited more general aims: "to develop appreciation and understand- 
ing of children" or "to develop an appreciation of and interest in 
the field." 

"Training for intelligent parenthood" ranked second among 
the aims reported, and meant in most cases preparental training, 
as only a few of the colleges (among those with nursery schools) 
reported programs with parents. 

/. Content of Courses. Of 114 colleges reporting on content 
of courses 40 sixty-four reported the inclusion of topics under physi- 
cal development, eighty-nine included physical care of the child, 
fifty-six included environmental factors, and sixty-three included 
education of the child, and fifty-seven included mental develop- 
ment. Topics less frequently considered were emotional develop- 
ment, social development, moral training, and behavior problems. 

g. Qualifications of Instructors. Courses were offered in seven 
colleges by persons holding the Ph.D. degree, in twelve by persons 
holding master's degrees, and in twenty-three by persons with 
medical training. "Although the group of highly specialized 
workers in this field is small, it is most encouraging that from the 
beginning the necessity for specialists has been recognized." 41 

Ifi. Laboratory Facilities. Laboratory facilities were reported 
by ninety colleges ; thirty-nine of these use public-school classes in 
kindergartens, practice schools on campus, elementary grades, 
health and nutrition classes, playgrounds, food, nutrition, and 
clothing classes, special schools for backward and crippled children, 
open-air schools, and schools for children with poor eyesight. 

Community organizations, including day nurseries, hospitals, 
orphanages, child-caring institutions, social settlements, and tuber- 
culosis sanatoria were used by thirty-one colleges for observation of 

Observation and contact with children were offered by twenty- 
four colleges in homes in which the students kept records of food, 
daily routine, behavior and reactions, bathed babies with the help 
of a nurse, and held conferences about behavior and nutrition with 

Tbid., pp. 70, 79, 80. 
p. 86. 


the mothers of the children, or where neighborhood children were 
observed or case studies made. 

Experience with nursery-school groups was offered in twenty- 
three colleges.* 2 

Four colleges reported " special groups " which included a 
laboratory for children from fourteen months to three years, a pre- 
school home laboratory, and a preschool group on the campus. 

Practical experience with children was provided in twenty-two 
colleges by bringing children into the classroom for examination 
by a physician who pointed out physical characteristics, demonstra- 
tion of bathing a baby, simple mental and motor tests, and parties. 

Contact with children in home management houses was provided 
in fifteen colleges. 43 

Special studies of children, reported by seventeen colleges, in- 
cluded charting the weight of a nutrition-class child, supervised 
observation, study of a child in a girls' home or elsewhere, study 
of some problem child, assisting at lunch period, and having charge 
of children through meal-time five days per week for ten or twelve 

Behavior clinics, infant welfare clinics, hospital clinics, clinics 
held by a physician, and school clinics furnished contact with chil- 
dren for students in twelve colleges. 

7. Typical Collegiate and University Centers for 
Preparental Training 

The descriptions that follow will serve to make clear the nature 
of activities in preparental education in (a) the University of Cin- 
cinnati, (b) Cornell University, (c) Iowa State College, (d) the 

a These were (see p. 83 of authors quoted) : Alabama Polytechnic Insti- 
tute, Antioch College, California State Teachers College at San Jose, Columbia 
University, Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Iowa State 
Teachers College, Iowa State University, Kansas State Agricultural College, 
Merrill-Palmer School, New York State College of Home Economics, Ohio State 
University, Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Oregon Agricultural 
College, Purdue University, Simmons College (Buggies Street Nursery School), 
Stephens College, Universities of California at Berkeley, California at Los 
Angeles, Chicago, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin. 

**Tbid, p. 84. These colleges were: Berea College, Carnegie Institute of 
Technology, Drexel Institute, Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic 
Arts, Lewis Institute, New York State NTormal College, North Carolina College 
for Women, Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Pennsylvania State 
College, South Dakota State College, and the Universities of Arkansas, Maine, 
Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. 


Merrill-Palmer School, (e) Ohio State University, (f) the Uni- 
versity of Texas, and (g) Vassar College, in the order named. 

a. University of Cincinnati. 4 * The work of preparental education 
in this institution was begun in 1925, with the establishment of the De- 
partment of Child Care and Training in the School of Household Ad- 
ministration. The present staff consists of the professor of child care, 
and the assistant professor whose chief duties consist of work in parent 
groups, a nutrition specialist, a head teacher and two assistant teachers, 
a part-time trained nurse and a part-time pediatrician for the nursery 

The approximate cost of the total project, exclusive of heat, light, 
housing, and telephone service is $15,600 for the nine months' year. 
Nine thousand dollars of this budget is paid by the Mother's Training 
Center Association, a group of citizens who have agreed to turn over this 
sum to the department annually for three years. This sum is spent mainly 
in parental education. The University carries the major part of the re- 
mainder of the expense. The tuition of the nursery group, which num- 
bers thirty children, covers food, maid service, laundry, replacement of 
equipment, and the salary of one assistant teacher. Next year the budget 
will be increased by $5,000 from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Me- 
morial Foundation. 

The plan of the School of Household Administration, in which the 
Department of Child Care and Training is located, is to give a back- 
ground of all of the training which will be necessary in conducting a 
home, while at the same time it gives professional training in one or 
more of the fields into which home activities lead. The school has four 
major departments, nutrition, child care and training, management, and 
home economics in education and business, each of which prepares for a 
number of professional fields. Students take a general course during 
their freshman and sophomore years and their professional training 
in their junior and senior years, and as graduate students. The work 
in the Department of Child Care and Training prepares for such activi- 
ties as director and assistant director of nursery groups and day nurse- 
ries; instructor in child care and training in high schools, colleges, and 
universities; welfare work with young children; and research in child 
development Graduate students may add parental education to this 
above list. The electives of students specializing in child care are chosen 
with a view to giving fuller training in the specific field which the student 
wishes to enter. Students who plan to enter child welfare work choose 
their electives in sociology and in the School of Nursing and Health. 
Students who wish to become directors in nursery groups and day 
nurseries chose a portion of their electives in the College of Education, 
particularly in kindergarten education. Students who wish to do re- 

** This report is a slight revision of the material -written for the Yearbook 
by Dr. Ada H. Arlitt, University of Cincinnati. 


search in the field of child development chose their electives in the De- 
partment of Psychology. 

The courses in child care are planned to give the students an idea of 
the social and legal provisions for children, both local and national, of 
the sick child through the course in pediatnc nursing and child hygiene, 
of the mental and physical growth of children, of behavior problems of 
children, and of experimental methods which may be used for the pre- 
school period. In order to include sufficient material on the management 
of homes, students take courses in consumer's buying for homes and 
institutions. In order to be acquainted with the relation of women to 
the community, they take a course entitled "Woman, and Her Relation 
to the Social Order" A course in economics and one in problems of 
citizenship are also given. All of the departments in the School of 
Household Administration are closely related, and a student who wishes 
more training in nutrition or management may elect additional hours in 
that field. 48 

Through contact with children the students have ample opportunity 
for observation and participation. In the junior year the course in 
mental and physical growth includes a laboratory period of three hours 
a week throughout both semesters. Participation in everything but the 
sleeping-room activities is permitted during these laboratory hours. To 
supplement the work in the nursery group in which this laboratory is 
taken, students observe in day nurseries, in kindergarten, and in the 
Children's Hospital. Lectures on infant care, with demonstrations and 
participation are given at the Children's Hospital as a part of the work 
in this course. The course in behavior problems has a laboratory period 
of three hours a week throughout the first semester. This labora- 
tory work is done in the Children's Hospital at the Psychopathic In- 
stitute, in the Central Mental Hygiene Clinic, and in the Mothers* 
Pension Group. Observation and participation are always under the 
supervision of the Professor of Child Care, or of the head teacher in 
the nursery group. The records of the children in the nursery group 
are available for study except where these contain confidential material. 
Students have, at least once during their junior or senior years, periods 
of contact with children in their homes. All records are open to graduate 
students doing research which requires the use of such records. The 
graduate work in the department follows the plan outlined for under- 
graduate work, but with more advanced courses. Students are required 
to take undergraduate work where this is necessary to supplement their 
previous undergraduate preparation. A course on the methods and 
materials of parent education is given in the Graduate School with actual 
participation in parent-group work. 

The space for the nursery group at the University consists of a 
sleeping room, a playroom, approximately 32x40, a roof garden, ap- 

45 For the schedule of courses, see page 483. Catalogue of the University of 
Cincinnati, 1926-27. 


proximately 55 x 60, and a toilet and washroom. Kitchen space in the 
dietetics laboratory is reserved for the nursery group. An office and 
examining room for the physician, an office for the head of the depart- 
ment, one for the assistant professor, and one large office for the staff of 
the nursery group constitute the remainder of the housing space. The 
equipment for the nursery group and the medical laboratory cost ap- 
proximately $2,200. 

The students are from both the graduate and the undergraduate 
schools. Twelve undergraduates and ten graduate students are now 
majoring in this subject. The graduate students come from teaching 
elementary and kindergarten education, and from the departments of 
Sociology, Nursing and Health, Home Economics, and Psychology. The 
undergraduates are students who have come through the College of 
Liberal Arts. In 1929-30 undergraduate students will, for the most 
part, have had their whole undergraduate work in the School of House- 
hold Administration. 

The library facilities are those afforded by the School of Household 
Administration, College of Medicine, College of Education, School of 
Nursing and Health, and the departments of Psychology and Sociology. 

Ample opportunity for research is afforded by the laboratories in 
these departments. All of the social agencies which do work with young 
children cooperate fully with the department in any research which in- 
volves their particular field. Researches have been in progress this year 
in cooperation with the Children's Hospital, the Psychopathic Institute, 
the Babies' Milk Fund Association, the Day Nurseries, and the Mothers' 
Pension Group. 

All undergraduate work is done under the general direction of the 
Department of Child Care in the School of Household Administration. 
All graduate work is done under the supervision of the Department of 
Child Care and Training in the Graduate School. The department 
functions as an independent department of the Graduate School of the 
College of Arts and Sciences, as well as an undergraduate department in 
the School of Household Administration. 

b. Cornell University.* 9 The College of Home Economics at Cornell 
University is a state institution, and the work done through the College 
of Home Economics is financed largely by state and federal funds, which 
amounted in 1928-29 to approximately $234,497 state funds, and $83,154 
federal funds. In addition to the state and federal funds a grant of 
$30,000 yearly for four years was made by the Laura Spelman Rocke- 
feller Memorial to begin work in child guidance. These moneys support 
both resident and field work, resident teaching, research and extension. 

The aim or purpose of the College of Home Economics is first and 
foremost the training of homemakers. In a sense, therefore, a consider- 
able part of all its work is preparental. A second aim of the College is 

* This report was written for the Yearbook by Miss Flora Eose, one of the 
two directors of the College. 


vocational to train students through home economics to earn a living 
in one of the fields where knowledge of subject matter of some field of 
home economics and skill in its application are necessary. 

The College is organized on the departmental basis. The following 
departments have been developed: foods and nutrition, clothing and 
textiles, household art, household management, institution management, 
and family life. Each department has a head and four or more persons 
on its faculty. All departments except institution management have both 
resident and extension staff members. Three departments have, in ad- 
dition, staff members whose special concern is research : these are foods 
and nutrition, household management, and family life. 

The special responsibility of the resident members of the staff is to 
train students or to work in research problems. The special function 
of the extension members of the staff is to conduct programs of study 
in the field for both adults and children. In all cases, only persons having 
specialized in the subject to be taught in residence or in the field, or to 
do resident or field research, are selected. The group, therefore, is a 
highly specialized group. 

In addition to general basic courses in home economics which are of 
value in homemaking, courses which may be regarded as specifically 
preparental are also given. In the Department of Foods and Nutrition 
a course in child feeding is given. It involves lectures and discussion 
two hours a week. Three types of laboratories have been developed for 
this course: 

(1) Nutrition classes with children in the public schools, where 
the students observe and train the children and work with the 
parents of the children on feeding problems of school children. 

(2) The nursery school, where the students observe the feeding of 
the nursery-school children, help in planning menus, and work 
with the parents of the nursery-school children on the problems 
of feeding preschool children. 

(3) A visiting clinic organized by the instructor, comprising some 
fifty mothers with small babies whose feeding the students 
observe, and with whom the students work to help the mother 
in her own feeding problems or to aid in her necessity for feed- 
ing her baby artificially or for supplementing the baby's food. 

In the Department of Clothing and Textiles a course in children's 
clothing has been organized. In the laboratory for this course students 
work with the children of the nursery school on the problem of children's 
clothing. They work on the problem of clothing for infants through 
the infants in the two practice houses and on the problem of clothing 
older children through a project with high-school girls. 

In the Department of Family Life a number of courses in child 
guidance and child care are included which are designed specifically for 
preparental training. Students taking these courses have the opportunity 


to observe the fifteen children in the nursery school and to work with 
the parents of these children. 

In the Department of Household Management one course is given 
which involves residing in the practice house for five weeks. An infant 
is maintained in the practice house, and each student living in the house 
has a period of responsibility for the care, feeding, and training of the 
baby. Opportunities are being developed constantly for students to 
make contact with homes. These are most often made through some 
food, clothing, or household management problem which the mother in 
the home sends to the department. 

The College of Home Economics occupies its own building and in 
addition it maintains a house for the nursery school and one outside 
practice house. 

Students admitted to the College of Home Economics must come 
from approved high schools, must have satisfied what are known as the 
regents' examination requirements or the equivalent in College Board 
examinations, and must have come from at least the upper two-fifths in 
rank in the class in which they graduate. The number of students ad- 
mitted to the College is limited and includes a maximum total of 350 

The majority of students express two objectives: first to prepare 
themselves for homemaking; and second, to prepare themselves to earn 
a living through some vocation which has developed through a curricu- 
lum in the College of Home Economics. 

The College has at the present time eight curricula. 4 * 

There is a large general library in the University; the Colleges of 
Agriculture and Home Economics maintain a library; each department 
has its own small collection of books, and the Department of Family Life 
has a large specialized collection of books. 

c. Iowa State College. 46 The Home Economics Division here offers 
a course in home economics to about 1300 women. There are four other 
divisions in the College; agriculture, engineering, industrial science, and 
veterinary medicine. The Divison of Home Economics has more than 
one-fifth of the total enrollment. 

The Department of Child Care in the Division of Home Economics 
is financed both by the college and by a grant from the Laura Spelman 
Rockefeller Foundation. 

Inasmuch as the keynote of the Home Economics Division at Iowa 
State College is homemaking 1 , the resident program of child care and 
training has been organized to give senior women an opportunity to 
be trained in, and become familiar with, the care and training of children. 

This department is barely five years old, but during the last three 
years there has been an increased demand from seniors and graduate 

47 See Catalogue, Cornell University, 1927, pp. 12-21. 

48 This report was written for the Yearbook by Lulu Lancaster, of Iowa 
State College. 


students for advanced work in child care. It has also been possible to 
do a more extensive piece of work in the past two years with the parents 
of nursery-school children. 

An attempt has been made to see child life in its many contacts with 
an adult world and to use all departments of the college which can make 
a definite contribution in the study of childhood problems and possibili- 
ties. Cooperating with the Department of Child Care are the Depart- 
ments of Nutrition, Physical Education, Hygiene, and Physiology. Each 
one of these departments makes a definite contribution to the program 
of child study, either through actual participation in nursery-school work 
or in the child study seminar which is composed of all instructors work- 
ing in child care. 

The personnel of the staff of the Child Care Department consists 
of the director of the department, the child psychologist, who gives half 
of his time as a consultant, and two nursery-school teachers. These two 
nursery-school teachers are graduates of a home economics college, with 
advanced study at Merrill-Palmer School and at Columbia University. 

The course in Child Care and Training is required of all home 
economics students. The prerequisites for the course are dietetics, 
child psychology, and physiology. About 170 students are served in the 
course, which consists of a three-hour-a-week lecture or discussion 
period and the following participation in nursery-school activities : 

Assistantship 6 hours per quarter 

Meal Preparation 3 hours per quarter 

Nap Period 2 hours per quarter 

Noon Meal 2 hours per quarter 

Conference with Child Psychologist 2 hours per quarter 

Conference with Nursery-School Teacher... 2 hours 
Observation 10 hours per quarter 

In addition to this, there are a reading requirement of ten hours per 
quarter and two reports on nursery-school procedure and behavior of 
nursery school children. 

The assistantship in the nursery school is supervised by the head 
nursery-school teacher. In the conferences with the students who are to 
assist, they discuss the particular responsibility which the students will 
have in this assistantship Then the nursery-schoool teacher has a con- 
ference following this assistantship in which she checks up with the 
students and helps to evaluate their success or lack of it in nursery-school 

The first report that is made is an analysis of the nursery-school 
situation from the standpoint of the teaching methods which are used, 
of the equipment of the nursery school, and of the children's reaction 
to both teaching and equipment. The second report is an intensive 
personality study of one child. Students are required to make at least 
one visit to the home of the child whom they are studying. 


Records on nursery-school work are compiled by students, nursery- 
school teachers, the psychologist, and the director. The nursery-school 
teachers keep a pad in their pockets on which to record those items of 
behavior that lend an insight into the study of the child. These records 
are carefully typed and filed and are used in the weekly conference with 
the psychologist and director. 40 

The Nursery School is housed in a three-story building. It has three 
floors and accommodates about thirty-five children, as well as providing 
office rooms for five faculty members. On three sides of the building 
is a large yard entirely fenced in. In the yard are trees, gardens, animals, 
and outdoor playground equipment, also a large concession tent which is 
used for protection from the sun during the hot summer months. 

Courses offered in the Department of Child Care and Training and 
in Departments servicing Child Care and Training are the following: 

Child Care and Training (for senior women) 

Special Problems in Child Training 

Special Studies in Psychology (offered in the Psychology Seminar) 

Child Study Seminar 

Research in Household Administration (with its adaptation to child 

Nutrition of Children 

Prenatal and Child Physiology 

Children's Clothing 

Home Management House 

Teaching of Child Care in Public Schools 

Story Telling 


Realizing that no textbook will cover the needs of subject matter 
which the course in Child Care and Training wishes to give, the library 
has prepared, at our request, a list of about fifty books for reference. 
Three or four copies of each volume make it possible to have adequate 
material for reference work in the field of child care. This is in ad- 
dition to a similar list which the Department of Psychology has on its 

d. The Merrill-Palmer School. This school, founded as an institu- 
tion to undertake the training of girls for homemaking and parenthood, 
was established in Detroit in 1920.* 

Since no precedent existed to serve as guide, the first few years of 
work were devoted to diverse types of projects in the hope that the most 
effective way of executing the purpose of the will might be discovered. 
Three main avenues of approach seemed to open : to educate women who 
were already homemakers and parents; to reach younger women who 

48 POT a more complete discussion of records in this nursery school, see 
Ch. VUI. 

50 For a description of the early history of this school and its influence on 
preparental training, see pages 358-360. 


were not yet, but who would eventually be, homemakers and parents; 
and to undertake research which would discover desirable content and 
effective methods for use in teaching these two groups. 

It seemed wise, in developing these three lines of work, to establish 
a nursery school in order that an opportunity for observation and 
participation in work with young children might be offered to the parental 
and preparental groups, and that a center for research with normal 
children might be available. 

There are, at present, two nursery schools 51 on the immediate campus 
which care for about fifty children and which are used for both teaching 
of students and for research, and four nursery schools in or near the 
city of Detroit, all of which are used as laboratories in connection with 
the teaching of students. An extensive program of physical, nutritional, 
psychological, and educational care is maintained for the benefit of the 
nursery-school children, and every precaution is taken that they will 
gain maximal profit from attendance at the school. 

Composing the campus are five buildings, all of them adaptations 
of large houses which had been previously used as homes, and which, for 
the purpose of training girls in homemaking, are considered superior 
to one large central building. These buildings house administrative 
offices, classrooms, and the two nursery schools, and furnish living 
quarters for all of the undergraduate and most of the graduate students 
in residence at the school. Cooperative living is required as an essential 
aspect of the training for homemaking, just as frequent and intimate 
contact with the children in the nursery school is required as a valuable 
part of the training for parenthood. 

The staff numbers thirty-five, and includes several consultants, as 
well as specialists in physical growth and development, mental growth 
and development, nutritional research, parental education, nursery 
schools, household management, and extension. 

The students in residence number fifty and are senior or graduate 
students from colleges and universities of recognized standing in all parts 
of the United States and in several foreign countries. They come for 
periods varying from a term to a year and receive full credit toward 
the bachelor or advanced degrees in their home institutions 

Undergraduate students, most of whom are majors in home 
economics, are required to take the following courses: 

I. Mental Growth and Development of Character in Young Child- 
hood (6 hours credit) 
4 class periods per week 

4 hours per week observation in the nursery school 
4 hours per week work in the nursery school 
II. Educational Methods for Young Children (2 hours credit) 

51 For a description of the nursery schools, see Ch. Vlil. 


III. Physical Growth and Development of Young Children (5 hours 

3 class periods per week 

3 hours per week laboratory and field trips 

1 hour per week conference 

IV. Environmental Factors of Child L,ife (2 hours credit) 

2 class periods per week 
Laboratory and field trips arranged 

Graduates, who are usually majors in nutrition, psychology, 
parental education, or preschool education, are required to take 
similar courses and, if presenting adequate preparation, are per- 
mitted to take work in the following courses : 
V. Home Problems (5 hours credit) 

4 class periods per week 

3 hours per week observation, field trips, or laboratory 

VI. Behavior Problems Occurring in Young Children (2 hours credit) 
VII. Mental Measurement of Children (3 hours credit) 
VIII. Nursery School Techniques (throughout the year, 2 to 5 hours 

credit each semester) 
2 class periods per week 

4 periods of one full week each of work in the various Merrill- 

Palmer nursery schools (2 to 5 hours credit) 
IX. Special Problems 

Problems in the field of psychology, physical growth and develop- 
ment, home backgrounds, or parental education 

A limited number of advanced students are offered an opportunity 
to do research in the psychology of young children and in nutrition. 

The school does not, however, confine its attention to its university 
students. In order to reach the large group of young women who do 
not attend college, there has been established cooperation with high 
schools which has served to demonstrate the kind of training in child 
care that can successfully be given during the high-school years. The 
Merrill-Palmer nursery schools have been used as laboratory for these 
courses. Courses in homemaking for girls in continuation-school classes 
have also been offered. 

Probably the most outstanding feature of the preparental program 
at the Merrill-Palmer School is the fact of close cooperation between 
the various teaching groups a cooperation which has permitted the 
development of courses so smoothly coordinated in system and method 
that the student receives a closely woven unit of work designed to present 
all phases of child life. 

e Ohio State University Preparental education was incorporated 
in the program of the Home Economics Department of Ohio State 
University in the spring semester of 1923. A course in child care was 

M This report was written for tlie Yearbook by Miss Faith Lranman, of Ohio 
State University. 


offered in which the following subjects were included: physical char- 
acteristics, mental characteristics, child management and training, fam- 
ily relationships, and the child in relation to the community. The 
various phases of the subject were treated in survey style to give point 
of view rather than detail. Various specialists contributed to the course 
a pediatrician, psychologist, child management specialist, and several 
members of the home economics staff. 

As a laboratory for this course the department opened a nursery 
school in February, 1925. A part of the home economics building was 
utilized for this purpose; the total floor space covers 2,500 square feet. 
The initial cost of equipment was approximately $1,000 The enrollment 
of the nursery school was listed to twelve normal children between the 
ages of eighteen months and five years. An instructor was appointed 
to be in charge of the nursery school and to direct student assistance. 
In the autumn quarter of 1927 preparental education was extended 
through the appointment of a full-time member of the home economics 
staff in this field. 

Two courses are now offered. The first, a five-hour credit course 
per quarter, continues to be required of all senior students in home 
economics, with prerequisites of psychology and nutrition The second, 
a three-hour credit course, is open to junior and senior students in all 
departments without prerequisites. Classroom work consists of lectures 
and discussions, while laboratory experience is furnished through the 
nursery school where each student observes and assists under direction. 
Further opportunity for observation and assistance is offered through 
the day nurseries of the city. The content of the courses as at present 
given emphasizes the physical care and habit training of children. 

The major course has had an average enrollment of twenty-five 
students per quarter, the minor course a similar attendance in the 
quarters in which given. Eight advanced students are at present work- 
ing upon special problems and one student upon a master's thesis in the 
field of child development. Excellent library facilities are furnished 
through the main library of the University. 

Simultaneously with the extension of courses in the autumn of 
1927, the facilities of the nursery school were enlarged to accommodate 
twenty children. With the added personnel in the department, more 
definite contact with the homes of the children is now possible. Before 
admitting any child, a visit is made to the home in order to establish 
contact with the parents and to observe the child in the home environ- 
ment. Individual conferences with parents are held whenever deemed 
advisable by parents or staff. A parental study group consisting of 
mothers of the nursery-school children, mothers of those on the waiting 
list, and others interested has also been held fortnightly throughout 
the year. 

The running expenses of the nursery school, including renewal of 
equipment and cost of food, approximates $1,000 annually. This is met 


by the laboratory fees of students and by contributions from parents of 
the children enrolled in the school. 

Instructional salaries to the amount of $4,600 are furnished by the 
University budget for this purpose. This does not include payment for 
the voluntary services listed in the next paragraph. 

From the beginning, the nursery-school project has received most 
valuable cooperation from other departments and from other staff mem- 
bers of the Home Economics Department. A physician from ~the De- 
partment of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, gives all children registered 
in the school a thorough physical examination at the beginning of each 
quarter and reexamines children after absence due to illness. He acts in 
an advisory capacity in all matters related to health. A member of the 
Psychology Department gives the children mental tests twice yearly. A 
nutritionist of the Home Economics Department weighs and measures 
the children monthly. She also supervises the planning of mentis for 
the mid-day dinner served the children. The head of the Home Eco- 
nomics Department, who organized the project, gives general supervi- 
sion, and promotes the project in matters of administration. 

The aim of the child development education has been the same 
throughout, to train students in dealing with the problems of child care 
and child training, through classroom consideration of the essential facts 
and principles related to these problems, and through practical experi- 
ence in observing children and in dealing with them under trained 
direction in the nursery school. 

/. University of Texas!* Preparental education is dealt with at the 
University of Texas by means of a lecture course in child care and train- 
ing given in the Home Economics Department and a course on the pre- 
school child in the Department of Philosophy of Education. A nursery 
school is used for laboratory work in connection with both of these 
courses ; the students in home economics actually participate in the work 
of the school, while the students in education use it mostly for observa- 

The salaries of the instructors giving the lecture work are paid by 
the University, as these instructors are regular members of the university 
faculty. The expenses of the nursery school are partly met by a grant 
from the Texas Public Health Association, but the plant and its equip- 
ment and maintenance are furnished by the University. The approxi- 
mate cost of the nursery school, aside from plant and equipment, is 
$5,600 per year. Food costs are paid by the parents of the children. 
This has been fixed at two dollars per week per child. Six hundred 
dollars is allowed for maintenance; the remainder is expended for 
salaries for those in actual charge of the school a nursery-school 
teacher, an assistant, a trained nurse, fellowship for a graduate, and 
cook. A great deal of supervisory work is done by members of the 
regular University staff. 

81 This report was written for the Yearbook by Miss J. C. Winters. 


The aim of the work is to supply information concerning the physical, 
mental, and emotional development of the child; to afford opportunity for 
contact with children; and to tram students in child care. The course in 
child care and training is required of all majoring in home economics. 

The University Health Service and the Department of Philosophy 
of Education have cooperated extensively in the work of the school the 
Health Service by allowing one of the university physicians to make 
all the physical examinations and to give part of the lecture work in 
the child care and training course, and the Education Department by 
taking over all of the psychological work connected with the school. 
This last includes the giving of intelligence tests, supervision of observa- 
tion and reports of students, and that part of the lecture work in the child 
care and training course that is concerned with mental and emotional 
development. The nursery-school teacher was trained at Merrill-Palmer 
and has a salary of $2,200 for the school year. She has an assistant who, 
because of her interest in the work, gives her services for the small sum 
of $50 per month. There is a trained nurse at a salary of $100 per month. 
Special problems in connection with the school are undertaken by gradu- 
ate students, both in the Home Economics Department and in the De- 
partment of Philosophy of Education. 

The child care and training course requires two hours of lecture 
and four hours of laboratory work per week for one semester. It is 
given a credit of three semester hours and is offered during both 
semesters and in the summer school. The general supervision is under- 
taken by the head of the home economics department and the nursery- 
school staff. The feeding of the children is supervised by the heads of 
the foods and nutrition divisions of the home economics department. 

Records on file and available to the students are : 

(1) Physical weight and height charts, sleep records, and physical 
examination blanks. 

(2) Nutritional menus and recipes with calculations of calorie 
and mineral value of one serving of each recipe, studies of the 
food intake both at home and at the school, time studies, and 
studies of food likes and dislikes. 

(3) Psychological intelligence test blanks and personality studies. 

Once each year a report of the physical, mental, and emotional 
progress of the child is sent to the parent. These reports are discussed 
with the parents at an'open meeting. Special problems suggested by the 
reports may be taken up at the conference hours Monthly parent- 
meetings are held at which some topic related to child care is discussed. 
Weekly conference hours have been arranged with the physician, the 
psychologist, or the nutritionist. Students do a certain amount of home 

The school is housed in a two-story building that was formerly used 
as a home. On the first floor there is a large playroom, hall, office, dining 


room, kitchen, toilet, and screened play porch. A small nursery, accom- 
modating three babies, a large sleeping room, two bathrooms, a toilet, 
two unused rooms and a large screened sleeping porch constitute the 
second floor. The rearrangement of the house for nursery-school pur- 
poses, necessary repairs, and equipment cost approximately $2,500. This 
expense was met by the University. 

Students in home economics participating in the nursery-school work 
are seniors, and have the usual home economics background. They num- 
ber approximately thirty each year. Other classes, both in the home 
economics and other departments, do a certain amount of observation 
work. The education students doing required observation work number 
about twenty per year. 

The catalog description of the two courses for which the nursery 
school is used as a laboratory is as follows : 

"Child Care and Training." This course covers the physical, mental, 
and emotional development of the child, and the formation of right 
physical and social habits. Special stress is given to factors influencing 
health and nutrition. Responsibility of the home for development of the 
child is also emphasized. Practical work in the child nursery of the 
department will be included as a part of the course. 

"The Preschool Child." This course includes a study of the be- 
havior of the preschool child in terms of its causes, development and 
disturbances, together with a critical examination of prophylactic and 
remedial techniques, as well as of tools available for evaluating develop- 
ment. Opportunity for observation of and experimentation with pre- 
school children will be offered by the University Nursery School. 

The library facilities for the work are adequate, as we have the use 
of the University of Texas library, and a special sum of money is granted 
each year for the purchase of books and magazines. 

As far as we have been able to find, we are the first to introduce 
babies into the nursery school. This was done because it seemed to pre- 
sent the best way of giving students the opportunity to work with the 
very young child. The babies are brought to the school and called for 
at the same time as the other children. Students prepare the milk 
formulae, bathe and feed the babies, and observe their physical and 
mental development. 

g. Vassar College In the fall of 1927, the nursery school was 
opened at Vassar College to serve as a laboratory for preparental edu- 

"It cannot be too definitely emphasized that, valuable as the Nursery 
School is for observation as a means for the education of young children, 
its existence on the Vassar campus is justified only so far as the school 
serves as a laboratory in which the students of the college may develop 
serviceable and wholesome attitudes toward children, helps the students 

"This report was written for the Yearbook by Dr. Lovisa Wagoner, 
Vassar College. 


to appreciate more fully the significance of childhood, or helps them lay 
the basis of skill which will stand them in good stead when they, them- 
selves, become parents or in any capacity deal with young children, or 
helps them in the performance of their wider social obligations toward 
their community and the state." M 

The building in which the nursery school is housed was a gift to the 
college. The salary budget and the cost of maintenance is borne by the 
college. A tuition fee of $100.00 a year is charged each child to cover 
the cost of food, laundry, and other supplies. 

The nursery school is housed in a small stone building, located at 
the edge of the campus. The cost is $90,000 and the cost of the equip- 
ment is approximately $4,500. 

As an outgrowth of the work in euthenics, it seemed important to 
add to the college curricula courses in child study which would have as 
a laboratory a constant group of young children. The aim of such 
courses is not vocational, but rather to present to such students as may 
elect the courses a picture of child life, to give them some information 
regarding children, and to foster an appreciation of childhood. 

The courses in child study are at the present time an integral part 
of the Division of Euthenics. The staff consists of a professor of child 
study, associate professor of child study, and principal of the nursery 
school, social worker, two nursery-school teachers, one teaching scholar, 
and the secretary. A professor of physiology and nutrition acts as 
consultant in nutrition. A doctor of the college medical department, 
as physician of the nursery school, inspects each child daily and also, 
during the year, gives to each child a thorough physical examination 
The actual work of preparental education is carried on by the immedi- 
ate nursery-school staff through lectures, conferences, and informal 

A course entitled "Child Study" is offered which meets three hours 
a week throughout the year. The students in this course spend two 
hours a week, throughout the year, in nursery-school assistance, and 
during the second semester an additional three hours a week of observa- 
tion which serve as a basis for a topic. During the period of assistance 
each student is 'attached* to one of the nursery-school teachers who is 
responsible for guiding- the student. The direction of the special prob- 
lems or topics is distributed among members of the nursery-school staff. 

Records of family histories and development are not put into the 
hands of the students, but such information as seems wise is given to 
them by the social worker. Until a more complete set of mental test 
records representing a sequence of tests shall be ready, the mental 
records will not be available for the students, but a report of the chil- 
dren's intelligence level is given in general or descriptive terms. 

M Yassar College The Mildred ft. Wwnpfheimer Nursery School. New 
York: Poughkeepsie, 1928. P. 16. 


The direct contact with the home is made by a social worker. She 
visits each home "before a child is admitted. After the admission of the 
child, she obtains the f amily history and makes subsequent visits as they 
seem advisable. Additional contacts with the parents occur when the 
parents bring and call for the children. At such times the principal of 
the school is available for conferences and informal discussions. The 
member of the staff who is responsible for planning the menus also 
confers with the parents about the nutritional condition and the plan- 
ning of home meals for the children. The nutritionist assists in further 
conferences regarding nutrition. 

Courses in child study are open to students of junior and senior 
standing. Up to date the number has not been limited. There are thirty- 
two students in Child Study, ten in the Development of Learning, and, 
in addition, eighty in Child Psychology and fifteen in Nutrition who have 
used the nursery school as a laboratory. The students take these courses 
for various reasons : some are looking toward social or educational work 
as a vocation; others expect to be married soon, and still others have a 
vocational interest. 

The courses offered in child study are: 

"Child Study": A working knowledge of the nature of the child, 
the technique for studying the child, and methods for training the child. 

"Development of the Learning Process in Children" : A study of the 
child's acquisition of control over his own body and his environment and 
of the means which facilitate or hinder such control. 

"Problems in Child Study"- Discussion of the latest findings and 
modern trends in child study. Special problems in the nursery school 
selected for intensive study. 

It is assumed that, while the most direct training for parenthood is 
offered by the courses in child study, such courses as those in child 
psychology and in nutrition might also well be considered as under this 
heading. It is the assumption that both theoretical and practical knowl- 
edge are of value to the student and that there is no means so potent for 
arousing an interest in children and for stimulating intelligent attitudes 
toward children as actual contact with the young. 

The library at Vassar College is well equipped and has added this 
year such standard works and such newer publications as seemed sig- 
nificant in this particular situation. 


This section deals with the history and status of education in 
parenthood for students who are not yet faced with the immediate 
problem of children of their own, but who, rather, are being given 
training in parenthood as part of their general education. 

Probably the most striking feature of this movement for the 
education of preparents is the rapidity of its development. Less 


than ten years ago there were no schools, no courses, no teachers; 
the first endowment, the Merrill-Palmer fund, had been created 
but was iiot yet functioning. To-day there are classes in child care 
and training in hundreds of schools ranging from the sixth grade 
through work of graduate rank in colleges and universities in 
almost every state in the Union and in several territories. 

There is now fairly general agreement among educators that 
definite courses in the technique of parenthood are desirable and 
should be given as purt of the general education course before the 
individual is faced with the actual problems of parenthood. There 
is albO in the majority of the projects now organized a recognition 
that method in such courses should include laboratory practice with 
children, and that subject matter should consider alike the physical, 
mental, and emotional aspects of child life. 

Owing, however, to the fact that each project in the rapid de- 
velopment of the movement has been forced to adapt the limited 
available material to its own. need, a wide variety of method and 
subject matter has resulted. Some of this diversity is proving a 
stimulus to the discovery of better methods and materials ; much of 
it, on the contrary, means wasted energy and indicates that one of 
the most urgent present needs is for the development of sound 
content, usable textbooks, and adequately-trained teachers. 

Extensive research in child life will be necessary to the develop- 
ment of content, and thoughtful practice in teaching to the develop- 
ment of textbooks. Good teachers, the most important essential to 
preparental education, can be provided only by a constant encour- 
agement to further training of gifted teachers who have in addi- 
tion to their gift for teaching a point of view flexible enough to 
adapt training in physical welfare to an understanding of mental 
and emotional health, or to adapt training in psychology to an 
understanding of physical health, thus giving a well-rounded 
preparation for this most demanding teaching task. 




Professional training in child development with, a center of in- 
terest in the preschool child is a new movement in education. It 
has gained impetus through the establishment, as integral parts 
of institutions for higher learning, of stations and institutes for the 
study of normal children, and the subsequent introduction of pre- 
school laboratories, nursery schools, and guidance clinics. Less 
than a dozen years ago the first center for the scientific study of 
normal and superior children at a university was established ; since 
then institutes of child welfare research have been founded at a 
number of leading universities. Provisions have rapidly been 
made for the study of young children at these centers; nursery 
schools have been added to the departments of home economies or 
psychology in an increasingly greater number of colleges and uni- 
versities, and opportunities have been increased for first-hand study 
of young children in guidance clinics, hospitals, orphanages, and 
other existing agencies. 

In the directory of research in child development, published by 
the National Research Council in March, 1927, nearly one hundred 
persons, representing almost as many institutions, were listed as 
reporting research in progress in the preschool field. The material 
presented in this section is based in part on answers to questions 
directed to these persons in regard to facilities and opportunities 
in their institutions for professional training in the preschool field. 


Through the Child Development Oommittee of the National Re- 
search Council, national scholarships 1 are granted to specially quali- 

1 During 1926-27 and 1927-28 these were designated as fellowships; at 
the beginning of the academic year 1928-29, the term was changed to scholar- 
ships and the term fellowships reserved for persons with the Ph.D. degree 
who were continuing their studies. In order to avoid confusion in this section, 
the revised terminology is used throughout. 



fied workers for advanced study in any of seven institutions : Co- 
lumbia University, New York, N. Y. ; State University of Iowa, 
Iowa City, Iowa; Merrill-Palmer School, Detroit, Mich.; Univer- 
sity of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn ; Yale University, New 
Haven, Conn. ; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., and 
the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. These institutions 
constitute the major places where coordinated training in various 
aspects of child development is offered. In addition to the na- 
tional scholars, there are, however, at each institution a number 
of graduate assistants, graduate students, research assistants, and 
research associates who are receiving similar training. 

Many other institutions where research is going on in some 
particular aspect of growth in the preschool period have not at- 
tempted to unite or organize the available courses or to supple- 
ment them so as to form a well-rounded program of child develop- 
ment. At a number of places preschool laboratories or nursery 
schools are maintained or preschool children are otherwise avail- 
able for study, and advanced students are doing research under 
direction. Preschool children were reported as being readily 
available, and from two to twenty advanced students as doing re- 
search each year at the University of California at Los Angeles, 
Cal. ; University of Chicago (Department of Home Economics), 
Chicago, 111 ; Kansas State Agricultural College, Manhattan, 
Kans. ; Los Angeles public schools, Los Angeles, Cal.; North- 
western University, Evanston, 111.; Smith College, Northampton, 
Mass.. and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. This is un- 
doubtedly only a partial list ; many other institutions reported iso- 
lated researches in progress. At a few places undergraduates are 
being trained in minor research projects. At the newly established 
institute of child welfare at the University of California at Berk- 
eley, eight research assistants were majoring (in 1927-28) in edu- 
cation, psychology, household science, zoology, and social economics. 


The appointments to national scholarships prepare for research 
and practice in fields connected with the mental and physical health 
and growth of children, and lead to the following types of service : 
(1) research in child development, all fields; (2) resident instruc- 
tion in child development and welfare in school, college, and uni- 


versity; (3) child welfare service in clinics, institutions, social 
service, health organizations, schools, nursery-school teaching, etc. ; 
and (4) parent education, in field organization, study-group lead- 
ership, extension programs, and resident instruction in college or 

In 1927-28 twenty-five percent of the persons applying for these 
scholarships planned to prepare for research, twenty-eight percent 
for instruction, twenty-six percent for welfare service, and twenty- 
one percent for parent education. In 1928-29 the proportion of 
those planning to prepare for research increased to thirty-six per- 
cent; for instruction it remained at twenty-eight percent; for wel- 
fare service it was twenty-four percent, while for parent education 
it dropped to twelve percent. 

During the two years 1926-27 and 1927-28, twelve to fifty ad- 
vanced students specialized in child development in each of the 
seven institutions. These do not include students specializing in 
parent education or those preparing to be nursery-school teachers 
(these groups are treated elsewhere in the Yearbook), The order 
of emphasis on the four types of service varies with the different 
institutions, but there is a tendency toward training more persons 
in research than in the other fields. 

The training has been most frequently orientated around psy- 
chology as the major field, with home economics and education next, 
and occasionally around such other fields as physical growth, bi- 
ology, speech, and sociology. 


Of the foregoing students specializing in child development 
during these two years, approximately 71 percent held the degree 
of B.A., B.S., or Ph.B. ; 25 percent the degree of M.A. or M.S. ; 
three percent the degree of Ph.D. ; and fewer than one percent the 
degree of M.D. Of the applicants for the national scholarships in 
1927-28, 57 percent held the degree of B.A. or its equivalent, 35 
percent the M.A. or M.S. degree, six percent the Ph.D., and two 
percent the M.D. degree j in 1928-29, 50 percent held the BJL de- 
gree or its equivalent, 49 percent the M.A. or M.S. degree, and one 
percent the M.D. degree. Those with the Ph.D. degree were not 
included in 1928-29, but were applicants for fellowships. Many 


applicants holding the B.A. degree \vere candidates for the M.A. 

An analysis of the academic background of the applicants for 
scholarships during the two years showed that 49 and 49 percent, 
respectively, had specialized in psychology or education, 29 and 23 
percent in home economics (including nutrition), eight and six 
percent in sociology, while four percent had a general academic 
background in 1926-27, and one or two percent each had specialized 
in nursing, medicine, physical education, library, speech, music, 
genetics, child welfare, biology, romance languages, and mathe- 
matics. In 1928-29 five percent each had specialized in English 
and chemistry. Many of the workers were experienced teachers, 
clinical psychologists, nurses, social workers, physical education di- 
rectors, dietitians, or instructors seeking specialized training. 


Scholars were registered in the following courses in child de- 
velopment and related fields in the several institutions. These 
probably represent at least a majority of the courses available in 
child development. 

i. Research 

Research in child development, research in child welfare, research 
with young- children, methods of research, special problems in personality 
record, in physical growth, in experimental methods, in home technique 
and in parental education, curncular research, and research seminar. 

2. Psychology of Childhood 

Psychology of childhood, mental growth and development, devel- 
opment of the child, seminar in contemporary research in mental de- 
velopment of children, seminar in current literature on child psychology, 
observational and experimental method with children, ontogenetic psy- 
chology, psychology of infancy, infancy and early childhood, experimen- 
tal observation of young children, activities of young childhood, mental 
development of the preschool child, testing- of preschool children, clinical 
child psychology, clinical work with children, clinical study of children, 
psychology of exceptional children, psychology of adolescence. 

3. General Psychology 

Survey of contemporary psychology, lectures and practice work in 
psychology, individual research in psychology, psychology, experimental 
psychology, advanced experimental psychology, laboratory in psychology, 
clinical psychology, nature and varieties of human behavior, psycho- 


educational clinic, mental adjustments, measurement of personality 
traits, psychology of personality, psychopathology, abnormal psychology, 
psychology of learning, social psychology, physiological psychology, 
mental measurements, mental and educational measurements, advanced 
mental measurements, individual mental testing". 

4. Statistics 

Statistics, psychological statistics, advanced statistics, mathematical 
theory of statistics. 

5. Mental Hygiene 
Mental hygiene, behavior problems, child training, home problems. 

6. Education 

Curricula for young children, curricular research, practice teaching 
in nursery school, nursery school, supervision and training of the teachers 
of young children, nursery-school technique, problems in preschool edu- 
cation, problems in nursery-school technique, nursery-school methods, 
educational methods of young children, nursery-school technique with 
problem in children's records, educational psychology, advanced edu- 
cational psychology, educational psychology seminar, educational 
measurements, mental and educational tests, measurement in kinder- 
garten and first grade, introduction to education, the curriculum, pro- 
fessional education of teachers, problems of the training school, recon- 
struction of the elementary curriculum, educational economics, rural 
education and rural sociology, advanced course in rural education, mod- 
ern and experimental schools in Europe, philosophy of education, 
character education. 

7. Parental Education 

Parental education, .parental education in child care and training, 
technique and practice of parental education, child study and parental 
education, nursery school and parental education movements, social and 
religious background, special problems in home technique. 

8. Sociology 

Social case work, social progress, social organization, history of 
social theory, history of the family, seminar in social statistics, seminar 
in educational sociology. 

9. Nutrition and Biochemistry 

Nutrition of children, nutrition, of young children, child feeding, 
nutrition, nutrition and dietetics, nutrition seminar laboratory, nutrition 
of the family, nutrition in disease, seminar in nutrition, foods and 
cookery with laboratory, biochemical seminar with laboratory. 

10. Physiology, Physical Growth and Care 

Higher activities of the nervous system, physiology and conditioned 
reflexes, histology, embryology, anatomy of foetus and child, physical 


growth and development, physical growth laboratory, physical develop- 
ment of childhood, child care, health care of children, maternal and 
child hygiene. 

ii. Other Courses 

Ad\ erasing, magazine writing, contemporary American literature, 
the Bible in modern teaching, modern use of the Bible, voice and 
diction, public opinion, art appreciation, special problems in home 


The fields of research in which advanced students (including 
scholars) , were engaged in 1926-27 and 1927-28 included in the 
order of number of students: psychology, education, mental hy- 
giene, nutrition, anthropometry, sociology, home economics, child 
hygiene, pediatrics, psychiatry, neuro-psychiatry, chemistry, bio- 
chemistry, physiology, biology, and speech. In most of the train- 
ing centers students were engaged in research in five or six of these 
different fields ; additional fields of research of which the students 
did not avail themselves were open in each of the institutions. In 
addition to those mentioned the following fields of research are 
open: bacteriology, pharmacology, orthopedics, anatomy, anthro- 
pology, and dentistry. 

Approximately six to twenty-five students each year were en- 
gaged in research with preschool children at each of the institutions 
to which scholars were assigned. 

In order to provide opportunity for first-hand study of young 
children, each of the institutions conducts a preschool laboratory, 
nursery school, or guidance clinic. The following summary shows 
the number of children available in these groups and the hours at 
which they are available: 

motion * 

No. of TT*W,, Days 
Children AgeBange A J3L Attendance 
Enrolled Attendance Weekl y 

1 3 


18 mos.-5 yrs. 

8:30- 3:30 


2 4 


18 mos.-5 yrs. 




9:00- 4:00 

3 1 


15 mos.-6 yrs. 



4 2 


18 mos.-4 yrs. 

8:30- 3:00 


5 1 


19 mos.-5 yrs. 




9:00- 3:30 

6 1 


2 yrs.-5 yrs. 



7 1 


2 yrs.-4 yrs. 




In addition to these groups, preschool clinics are maintained 
where varying numbers of children are met each week. Sometimes 
these clinics are held exclusively for consideration of problems of 
children who are actually enrolled in the preschool groups, but 
Usually the children seen are other than those regularly enrolled 
in such groups. In some organizations as many as twenty-eight 
children are seen each. week. Usually the children are seen for 
periods of one to three hours at a time and as often as the ease 
demands. Opportunities for home visitation or living in the homes 
of preschool children for a limited period of time are also usually 
provided, and in most of the institutions there is opportunity for 
work with children through such other agencies as children's hos- 
pitals, boards of health, clinics in medical schools, psychopathic 
hospitals, day nurseries, mental hygiene clinics, kindergartens, and 
social agencies. 

The amount of contact that the student has with preschool chil- 
dren varies according to the individual needs of the student, but 
often totals as much as twenty hours weekly. 

Laboratory equipment is provided in accordance with the needs 
of the problems under investigation. Generally, standard psycho- 
logical apparatus and test materials are furnished. In some of the 
laboratories there are complete sets of instruments for physical 
growth measurements. Provisions for nutritional research and re- 
lated chemical researches, for bacteriological research, and for ani- 
mal laboratories are made at some of the institutions. 

Special laboratory space for experimental work is set aside at 
each institution. This usually consists of a series of separate small 
rooms for individual work with children. At Yale University there 
is a photographic observatory dome and a special observation alcove. 


With the marked impetus that child study has had in the past 
few years have come certain problems. A heavy burden has been 
placed on educational institutions ; on the one hand, by the newly- 
awakened public demand for the help of trained workers and for 
schools to take their part in the early life of the child ,* and on the 
other hand, by the increasing recognition of opportunities for train- 
ing. Whether a satisfactory balance can be achieved between the 
demand and supply remains to be worked out. The danger of an 


oversupply of inadequately trained persons is evident. The Child 
Development Committee lias made a forward step by limiting the 
number of scholarships granted during the present year, requiring 
more advanced preparatory training and introducing fellowships 
for post-doctorate study. Probably the trend will be towards more 
intensive and more prolonged training. 

A signal advance in the past ten years has been the increasing 
emphasis on broader training and the coordination of training in 
many fields. This has been evidenced by the centers that have 
been established for child study, by the formation of the Child De- 
velopment Committee of the National Research Council, and by 
the national research conferences in child development attended 
by specialists in many fields. Although many fields of study have 
been included in the programs at the various centers, certain fields 
have been emphasized more than others, probably because psycholo- 
gists and educators were the first to grasp the vision of all-round 
development. The excellent isolated researches that are going on 
in some fields, as in pediatrics and physical development, for ex- 
ample, are little reflected in the coordinated programs of the centers 
at present. The next advance will probably be found in the coordi- 
nation of yet other fields of endeavor. 




The training of nursery-school teachers is still in the experi- 
mental stage. It seemed desirable to discover, if possible, the 
variations in practice. For this purpose a preliminary question- 
naire was prepared, and sent to fifty-five schools supposedly inter- 
ested in the professional training of nursery-school teachers. 

Of these fifty-five schools, seventeen 1 failed to reply to the ques- 
tionnaire. Of the thirty-eight schools that did reply, twenty-five 2 
answered "No" to the question, "Does your institution pre- 
pare students for nursery school teaching?" Three of these 
schools, University of Nebraska, Perry Kindergarten Normal School, 
Boston, Mass., and Milwaukee State Teachers College, however, re- 
ported that definite steps were being taken toward organising a 
course. Sixteen other schools offer courses giving general informa- 
tion concerning nursery schools, though not designed to prepare 
students for teaching. 

1 Antioch College; Children's Foundation, N. Y.; Froebel Kindergarten 
Training School, Harrisburg, Pa.; Froebel League Kindergarten Training 
School, N. Y.; Flatbush Training School, Brooklyn; Geneseo State Normal, 
Geneseo, N. Y.; George Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn.; Miss Fulmer's 
School, Los Angeles, Cal. ; Normal Training School, Savannah, Ga.; Newark 
State Normal, Newark, N. J.; New Platz State Normal, New Platz, N. Y.; 
Pestalozzi-Froebel Training School, Chicago, HI.; San Jose State Teachers 
College, San Jose, Cal.; Trenton State Normal, Trenton, N. J.; "University 
of Calif ornia, Berkeley, Cal.; Wheelock School, Boston, Mass.; Western State 
Teachers College, Kalamazoo, Mich. 

'Adelphi College, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Bureau of Educational Experiments, 
N. Y.; Chicago Normal College; Chicago Teachers College; Central State 
Teachers College, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; Ethical Culture School, N. Y.; Fresno 
State Teachers College, Fresno, Cal.; Greeley State Teachers College, Greeley, 
Colo.; Golden Gate Kindergarten Association, San Francisco; Kindergarten 
Primary Training School, Boston, Mass.; Kent State Normal College, Kent, 
Ohio; Leslie School, Cambridge, Mass.; State Teachers College, Milwaukee, 
Wis.; Miss Wood's Kindergarten Primary Training School, Minneapolis; 
Potsdam State Normal School, Potsdam, N. Y. ; Peru State Normal School 
and Teachers College, Peru, Nebraska; Perry Kindergarten Training School, 
Boston, Mass.; Smith College, State Teachers College, Cedar Falls, Iowa; 
Teachers College of Indianapolis; Tulane University; University of Nebraska; 
Vassar College, Winnetka Public Schools, Winnetfea, HI.; Yale Psycho-Clinic. 



Thirteen' of the thirty-eight schools replying to the question- 
naire <lo prepare students for nursery-school teaching. These 
schools have supplied information concerning entrance and gradu- 
ation requirements, content of courses, and practical experience 

This information revealed many points of difference in pro- 
cedure. These points of difference were then carefully considered 
and included in a second questionnaire, more specific and detailed 
than the first one. 

The second questionnaire was then sent to the thirteen schools. 
Data from eleven of the thirteen form the basis for this chapter 
on current practices in the professional training of nursery-school 
teachers. 4 


In examining the tabulated data, many variations in practice 
are explained by specific conditions in the institution or department 
in which the program of studies is offered. For example, the re- 
port from Mills College is based upon plans which have been com- 
pleted within the past year. Similarly Western Eeserve Univer- 
sity has only recently incorporated the Cleveland Kindergarten 
Primary Training School which formerly offered such preparation. 
Again, at the University of California, Southern Branch, the pro- 
gram of training is in a preliminary stage and is gradually being 

Merrill-Palmer School; Mills College; National Kindergarten and Ele- 
mentary College; Nursery Training School of Boston; Iowa State College of 
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts; Teachers College, Columbia University; 
Temple University; University of California, Southern Branch; University of 
Chicago; University of Cincinnati; Iowa Child Welfare Besearch Station; 
Wellesley College; Western Reserve University. 

* Temple University discontinued the course preparing students for nurseiy- 
school teaching in 1927-28, probably to be resumed later. 

Wellesley College reported that while students are prepared for nursery- 
school teaching, the program for this preparation is such that it could not be 
adequately represented by use of the questionnaire. The preparation is de- 
scribed as follows: "A year of graduate study adapted to the needs of the 
student, but including-, of course, theory and problems of the nursery school 
together with abundant observation and practice, is required of prospective 
directors of nursery schools. We have no standardized or fixed program for 
such students. The work is arranged to suit their individual needs as de- 
termined by their previous education. The student undertakes what she needs 
and can do in a year. In one way or another the College provides for any 
need she may have. Two nursery schools, one on the campus, provide for 
observation and practice. ** 


expanded in response to an insistent demand, which, the report 
states, "may force the issue soon of preparing more teachers more 
adequately for more private nursery schools. " 

In several cases, while preparation for nursery-school teaching 
is provided, it does not receive the major emphasis. Thus, the 
Iowa Child Welfare Research Station trains teachers incidentally. 

The data from the eleven schools have been assembled to exhibit 
tendencies with respect to entrance and graduation requirements, 
including a discussion of course content and practical experience 


There seems to be a general effort to select carefully students for 
nursery-school teaching Of the requirements listed for prospective 
teachers, interest in young children is mentioned, as might be ex- 
pected, by practically all the respondents. Other requirements are 
as follows : 

a. Health. Good health seems to be considered highly import- 
ant for the nursery-school teacher, since seven 5 of the eleven schools 
make a health examination or a report of freedom from physical 
handicap a requirement for entrance. At Merrill-Palmer a health 
examination is "desirable, but not required.'' 

~b. Academic Status. The general high standard set for stu- 
dents preparing for nursery-school teaching is indicated by the fact 
that in only one instance, that of the National Kindergarten and 
Elementary College, are students admitted directly from high 
school. At Iowa State College, the Bachelor's degree is required; 
at Iowa Child Welfare Research Station and Merrill-Palmer 
School only graduate students are eligible for nursery-school train- 
ing. At the University of Cincinnati, while students may enter 
the training before completing their requirement for a B.S. de- 
gree, these requirements must be satisfied before the student takes 
the final year of teaching. 

In the six remaining schools, 6 two years' undergraduate study 

*Iowa State College; National Kindergarten and Elementary College, 
Evanston, HI.; University of Chicago; Mills College; University of Cali- 
fornia, Southern Branch; University of Cincinnati; Western Beserve Uni- 

University of Chicago; MiHg College; Teachers College, Columbia Uni- 
versity; Nursery Training School of Boston; University of California, South- 
ern Branch; Western Beserve University. 


or two years* normal training, or the equivalent, is required for en- 
trance, with the added requirement at Teachers College, Columbia 
University, of two years' successful teaching experience unless the 
candidate presents a bachelor's degree. 

c. Scholarship. A tendency toward requiring a high standard 
of scholarship in addition to previous preparation is indicated by 
the requirements of several institutions that students show superior 
ranking in study pursued before entrance ; e.g., Iowa State College 
requires grades of 85 or above; National Kindergarten and Ele- 
mentary College admits only applicants from the upper three- 
quarters of the high-school group ; University of Chicago requires 
that applicants show grades 25 percent higher than the passing 
mark ; Mills College specifies that the average must be ' C' or above ; 
Teachers College, Columbia University, selects only those of su- 
perior scholarship or demonstrated ability in some field. The gen- 
eral recognition of the need for native ability as well, is evident 
from the fact that all but three 7 of the institutions require satis- 
factory passing of an intelligence test for entrance. 

d. Other Requirements. Several schools make other specific 
requirements. Merrill-Palmer and Teachers College, -Columbia 
University, specify that the student must have some knowledge of 
general psychology before entrance; Western Eeserve University 
accepts special diplomas only if psychology has been included in 
the student's course. A course in cookery before entrance is re- 
quired by Mills College, and a knowledge of general principles of 
nutrition is recommended, but not required, by Merrill-Palmer. 
Character recommendations are asked for at National Kindergarten 
and Elementary College and at the University of Chicago. A per- 
sonal interview is required at Nursery Training School of Boston 
and at Teachers College, Columbia University, before the student 
is permitted to enter upon preparation for nursery-school teaching, 
and in the former the passing of a special music test which is in 
process of standardization is also required. 

e. Summary. In general, there is, then, agreement that those 
preparing for nursery-school teaching should be students with a 
definite interest in young children, excellent health, fine character, 

f University of Chicago; Nursery Training School of Boston: Iowa Child 
Welfare Besearch Station. 


good native ability, superior scholarship, and adequate fundamental 
preparation. It augurs well for the future of the nursery school 
that so high a standard has been set for the selection of those stu- 
dents who will participate in the shaping of its future policies. 


The programs of study required for graduation in the eleven 
schools show both wide variations and interesting similarities. 

1. Academic and General 

Only five 8 of the schools mention their academic requirements 
in detail. In each of these cases the requirements include English 
and science; the latter apparently receives its greatest emphasis 
at Mills -College, where three courses are required, varying from 
three hours a week for eighteen weeks to seven hours a week for 
thirty-six weeks. Other requirements mentioned include courses 
in history, 9 history of education, 10 philosophy, 11 sociology, 12 and 
social science. 13 It is probably fair to assume that similar require- 
ments prevail in the other six institutions. 

a. Child Psychology. Each of the eleven schools requires at 
least one course in child psychology ; in five cases 14 more than one 
such course is required. In each instance the course includes not 
less than two hours a week for eighteen weeks. 

b. Child Hygiene and Nutrition. There seems to be also a 
very general feeling that a knowledge of child hygiene and of the 
principles of nutrition is an essential part of the equipment of the 

'National Kindergarten and Elementary College; Teachers College, Co- 
lumbia University; Mills College; University of Chicago; University of Cal- 
ifornia, Southern Branch. 

National Kindergarten and Elementary College; Teachers College, Co- 
lumbia University. 

10 National Kindergarten and Elementary College; Teachers College, Co- 
lumbia University; Mills CoUege. 

n Mills College; Teachers College, Columbia University; Nursery Train- 
ing School of Boston. 

National Kindergarten and Elementary College; Merrill-Palmer; Nurs- 
ery Training School of Boston; Western Eeserve University. 

"University of California, Southern Branch. 

"National Kindergarten and Elementary College; Mills CoUege; Teach- 
ers College, Columbia University; University of Cincinnati; University of 
California, Southern Branch. 


nursery-school teacher, for each school requires such courses for 

c. Physical Growth. Closely related to the study of child hy- 
giene and nutrition for young children is the study of the physical 
growth of children and the measurement of that growth. This 
knowledge also seems to be considered an important phase of the 
nursery-school teacher's preparation, for six 15 of the eleven insti- 
tutions included in this report mention specific courses dealing pri- 
marily with the various aspects of physical growth. In the re- 
maining five schools this study forms a part of other courses. 

The extent to which a study of the posture of young children is 
included in these courses in physical growth or in other courses is 
uncertain. Only three institutions specifically mention such study. 
Merrill-Palmer reports that the course in physical growth includes 
4 * some work in posture and special studies on posture are sometimes 
assigned to individual students." Iowa State College includes a 
study of posture in a course entitled "Special Problems, " and Mills 
College includes such study in the course "Theory of Individual 

d. Hental Hygiene. Specific mention is made by few of the 
schools of any requirement in the field of mental hygiene. At 
Merrill-Palmer School it is given particular emphasis in the course 
* * Mental Growth and Development of Character. ' ' Merrill-Palmer 
School also requires a course in " Behavior Problems." At Iowa 
State College, it is given consideration in the psychological seminar. 
At Teachers College, Columbia University, it is given consideration, 
in practically every course, though no specific course as such is re- 
quired for graduation. This may be the case in each of the eleven 
schools reporting. 

e. Educational Measurements. Six 16 of the eleven schools men- 
tion, requirements in educational measurements. The teachers in 
the nursery school are thus being equipped to cooperate intelligently 
with research workers in this field. 

"Iowa State College; National Kindergarten, and Elementary College; 
University of Chicago; Merrill-Palmer School; Milla College; University of 
California, Southern Branch. 

"Iowa State College; National Kindergarten and Elementary College; 
Merrill-Palmer School; Mills College; Teachers College, Columbia University; 
University of California, Southern Branch. 


/. Clinical Study. A beginning is being made in the training 
of nursery-school teachers in the clinical approach to the study of 
children. The University of Cincinnati and Western Beserve Uni- 
versity both require such training. 

g. Parental Education, The recognition of parental education 
as an integral part of the nursery-school program is evidenced by